End of an Era? Neil Druckmann Discusses Future Changes for Naughty Dog

“I promise you,” Druckmann said.

By Eddie Makuch on June 3, 2024 at 5:45AM PDT

Naughty Dog executive Neil Druckmann has teased the developer’s future projects, saying the company will likely create something outside the Last of Us universe at some point in the future. Speaking to The Los Angeles Times, Druckmann re-confirmed that Naughty Dog has multiple single-player projects in the works, and, while The Last of Us: Part III may be among them, there will be other games outside that universe.

“I promise you, we will not be The Last of Us studio forever,” he said.

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After the cancellation of The Last of Us Online in 2023 by Naughty Dog, the company announced that it is working on several single-player games. These projects have not been publicly disclosed, however, hints from Druckmann have led many to believe that one of the games might be The Last of Us: Part III, as indicated in a recent article.

“I’ve been pondering over whether there is a viable idea for The Last of Us 3. For years, nothing seemed right, but that has recently changed,” he stated in 2024. “While I don’t yet have a story, I do have a concept that excites me as much as the first two games did. It feels like this concept could serve as a connecting thread that brings a new dimension to the series, possibly concluding with one more chapter.”

Beyond another entry in The Last of Us series, could Naughty Dog return to the Uncharted series? Don’t get your hopes up for that, as Naughty Dog has said it is “done” with the franchise (though a different team could, of course, make Uncharted 5).

Druckmann is writing and directing a new game, but he can’t say what it is just yet. “I know the fans really want The Last of Us: Part III, I hear about it all the time,” Druckmann said in 2023. “All I can say is that we’re already into our next project, the decision has already been made. I can’t say what it is.”

Some also believe that Naughty Dog might turn its attention to a totally new genre, fantasy, for its next game, which could be a new IP.

Druckmann recently made headlines for calling out the editing of an interview he did with his own company. While Sony removed the interview from its website, Druckmann uploaded his raw, unedited answers, in which he said he is currently working on a “dream” project. He said, “It’s maybe the most excited I’ve been for a project yet.”

Sony’s recent State of Play briefing did not include information on upcoming games from Naughty Dog. There is anticipation for Sony’s forthcoming PlayStation Showcase later in the year, which might serve as a platform for Naughty Dog to reveal new projects, although this remains conjecture.

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