COVID-19 continues to wreak havoc on the games industry, with one of the last remaining AAA games featuring a specific pre-June release date now placed squarely into the “Release Date TBC” category.
Naughty Dog, the developers of The Last Of Us Part II, announced in a blog post the game had been delayed until further notice.
While not explicitly naming COVID-19 as the reason behind the delay, the developer blog post does reference “logistics beyond our control”, which isn’t exactly hard to read between the lines of.
The full blog post reads:
“As you’ve likely just seen, the release of The Last of Us Part II has been delayed. We’re sure this news is just as disappointing to you as it is to us. We wanted to reach out to all of you in our community to give you a little more information.
The good news is, we’re nearly done with development of The Last of Us Part II. We are in the midst of fixing our final bugs.
However, even with us finishing the game, we were faced with the reality that due to logistics beyond our control, we couldn’t launch The Last of Us Part II to our satisfaction. We want to make sure everyone gets to play The Last of Us Part II around the same time, ensuring that we’re doing everything possible to preserve the best experience for everyone. This meant delaying the game until such a time where we can solve these logistic issues.
We were bummed about this decision but ultimately understood it’s what’s best and fair to all of our players. We’re hoping that this won’t be a long delay and we’ll update you as soon as we have new information to share.
We wish you all, your families, and your friends the best of health. Thank you for being amazing fans and your continued support.
– Naughty Dog”
Sony themselves have said (via Twitter) that the delay to Last Of Us Part II (and Iron Man VR) is because the pandemic and accompanying global crisis is “logistically… preventing us from providing the launch experience our players deserve”.
Given the game is apparently nearly finished, gamers could be forgiven for wondering if the subject matter (survivors in the aftermath of a viral pandemic that’s ended civilisation as we know it) might also be a factor in the delay – although to be fair, Iron Man VR has also been delayed indefinitely and that’s exactly the sort of game people would want to be playing right now if they could.
The delay has also raised some questions about Ghost Of Tsushima, the Samurai epic being developed by Sucker Punch Productions as a PS4 exclusive and set for a June 26 release, as well as whether or not the much-vaunted PlayStation 5 will see a release this year either.
Given the regularly changing situation the pandemic (and global response) presents there’s no definitive answers to these questions, but nonetheless they are likely to become relevant in the near future if the pandemic situation continues as it has been.
In the meantime: now remains an excellent time to work through that backlog of games you’ve been meaning to play for ages – so it’s not like any of us are likely to be bored for a while.