Naughty Dog has penned a story outline for The Last of Us 3, which creative director Neil Druckmann hopes “one day can see the light of day” – but it’s not in development at the moment.
Speaking on the Script Apart podcast (thanks, IGN), Druckmann said the story outline that exists right now explores what happens after The Last of Us 2.
“I don’t know how much I want to reveal,” Druckmann said. “[Co-writer Halley Gross] and I did write an outline for a story, that we’re not making – but I hope one day can see the light of day – that explores a little bit what happens after this game. We’ll see.”
Drunkmann goes on to say there’s been “quite a bit” of discussion internally about this potential sequel, but it’s important to stress that Druckmann says it’s not currently in development.
However, The Last of Us 3 would have to stick with “some structural and thematic themes” established by the first two games in the series, were it to happen.
“We’ve now had two games that I feel speak to something universal as well as telling a very personal story for these characters,” Drunkmann said. “With one game, there’s no pattern of what a franchise is. With two games, now there’s starting to be a pattern – now I feel like there are some structural and thematic themes you would have to stick to if you were making a third game.”
The instinct, it seems, is there may well be a The Last of Us 3 eventually, but Naughty Dog sounds keen to take its time working things out before committing to the project.
“After we finish one of our big titles, we take a long time to explore different ideas, whether it’s going to be Last of Us 3, whether it’s something new, whether there’s some old franchise we want to go back to,” Drunkmann said.
“I like to fully explore all of those, and then look at, okay, we have all of these ideas in front of us. As a studio, what do we want to commit to? Because it’s a huge commitment – monetary, time, passion, talent, so you think about all the opportunity costs that come with that.”
In early April it was reported that Naughty Dog is working on a The Last of Us remake, and a team within Days Gone developer Sony Bend is helping Naughty Dog with a multiplayer game.