The Last of Us: Remastered is the re-release of last year's first-party offering from Sony on the PS3. The only thing is, this time around it's being released for the PlayStation 4. After a few months of media promotion and fan deliberation, it has recently been announced (in a very unorthodox way) that The Last of Us: Remastered has gone gold for the PlayStation 4.
The news about the game going gold actually comes from the lead animator on the project, Mike Yosh. The Naughty Dog developer took to Twitter to make the news made known to the public by posting the following tidbits of information.
So quite naturally, the first question out of the mouths of most people who have no idea what they just looked at it would be: “How do you know this means that the game has gone gold? And what does 'going gold' even mean if it hasn't been released yet?”
There's a multi-part answer to that question: First up, the image of a gold bar obviously means “gold”. I think we all gather as much from that. The hashtags for The Last of Us and for the PlayStation 4 also indicate that it's The Last of Us: Remastered on the PlayStation 4. If you put it together, it basically reads: The Last of Us: Remastered on PlayStation 4 is gold.
Now, as for “going gold”, it's not a sales term. It doesn't mean something has sold 'x' amount of copies. That's if we're talking about going platinum... and we're not.
The term “going gold” refers to a stage in development – or rather, the final stage in development when the entire team has finished every single aspect of development and the final code (or version) of the game is compiled and burned to the gold master disc. The gold master disc is the rendition of the game that will be shipped off to the manufacturing plant and pressed for mass distribution.
So whenever you see the term “going gold” or “gone gold”, it means that development on the project has come to a close and that the team is initially finished with the base game. Sadly, this doesn't always mean that the game is right proper, as we've seen a troubling trend lately from AAA publishers where games are releasing onto store shelves in buggy and sometimes broken states, when it comes to certain gameplay features.
Nevertheless, The Last of Us: Remastered is just that: a remastered version of an already complete game. So there shouldn't be any worries about the game arriving on store shelves for the PlayStation 4 in any kind of unplayable state, especially if the PS3 version from last year was anything to go by.
With The Last of Us: Remastered now gold for the PS4, we can expect to see it arrive on Sony's fourth-generation home console before the summer is out, barring any unforeseen delays or hiccups in the manufacturing process.