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The Last Of Us fans hoping for a sequel to the 2013 survival horror game have a new reason to be optimistic. Naughty Dog seemingly confirmed that Last of Us 2 is on the way during a livestream for the Nathan Drake Collection.
In the middle of the stream (via Gamepur), Naughty Dog writer Josh Scherr offhandedly mentioned "the first Last Of Us":
All the facial animation in the Uncharted series was led up by Eric [Monacelli], here, and [on] the first The Last of Us. Uh, did I say the first The Last of Us?
Last of Us 2 feels like a foregone conclusion. It was one of the top-rated games of 2013 and racked up a truck-load of awards. Sony would clearly greenlight a sequel.
Naughty Dog has addressed the possibility of a Last of Us sequel before. Two years ago, The Last Of Us creative director Neil Druckmann said that there was a "50/50" chance of a sequel happening. He added that Last Of Us 2 could make some big changes as well. For example, it might not even star Joel and Ellie if they can't get voice actors Troy Baker and Ashley Johnson to reprise their roles.
The studio also hinted a year ago that they were working on a big game aside from Uncharted 4. Many assumed that they were talking about Last of Us 2. However, they later said that any possible Last of Us follow-up is "on ice" until Uncharted 4 is released:
We're 110 percent in Uncharted 4 territory now. Blinders on, make this awesome...We totally get it, because we have those same feelings [about The Last of Us] as well. We have brainstormed sequel ideas for The Last of Us, and we've brainstormed ideas for new games, but all of that is put on ice right now while we work on Uncharted 4
Fortunately, Uncharted 4 isn't that far from release now. Naughty Dog plans to launch the game on March 18th. There's going to be some post-launch DLC for the game as well but nonetheless, once Uncharted 4 is in stores they could potentially start shifting resources to a new Last of Us.
It's probably not worth getting excited for the sequel just yet, though. Even if Naughty Dog put their sole focus on developing LoU2 on March 19th, the game could still potentially be years away. After all, Uncharted fans have been waiting about 4 years for Nathan Drake's return. The studio tends to take the slow-and-steady approach to development, especially now that they've got a sterling track record to uphold.