It has recently been reported that Naughty Dog is cutting ties with many of its contract workers amid a huge wave of industry layoffs. However, one detail in Kotaku's report that admittedly passed us by pertains to the state of the developer's only known project — its multiplayer The Last of Us game. According to Kotaku's sources, the game is "not completely canceled", but is "basically on ice at this point".
Initially starting out as a multiplayer companion to The Last of Us: Part II, the project grew in size and was eventually spun out to become a standalone title. Though it has been acknowledged by Naughty Dog a few times, it still doesn't have a name and hasn't been publicly shown, save for some concept art.
It's been in the works for years, and reportedly, Sony brought in Bungie to evaluate the live service game and see how things were going. Unfortunately, the outcome wasn't positive, and this apparently set development back quite dramatically. Now, it's "on ice", according to this new report.
It's pretty much what we expected, but it's still unfortunate to hear. The Last of Us has a lot of potential for multiplayer; the original game's Factions mode is beloved by fans, and many were expecting a grand expansion of that concept. Combined with Part II's excellent action, it seemed like a goer, but it seems development has slowed to a crawl.
We sincerely hope something comes of this project one day, but it's probably safe to assume we won't be seeing it in the near future.