According to Neil Druckmann, co-president of Naughty Dog, the studio is willing to develop The Last of Us Part 3, but only if they can come up with a memorable story like the ones from the previous two games.
Neil Druckmann, co-president of Naughty Dog , spoke to BuzzFeed about the popularity and increasing interest in The Last of Us owing to the HBO series that elevated the popularity of this game. One of the most intriguing questions Druckmann was asked was about the possibility of a third game in The Last of Us series and when or if we might expect it.
“I know there’s a bunch of people wondering about The Last of Us Part 3 and whether that will be a thing or not,” he said. “All I could say is, at Naughty Dog, we’re very, very privileged that our publisher is Sony, which means Sony funds our games, supports us, and we’re owned by Sony."
He said that if the team can create a compelling story for the future The Last of Us game and is enthusiastic about the project, they will work on it. If not, they may decide to abandon the series, as they have done with their other blockbuster game, Uncharted .
"Likewise, with The Last of Us, it's up to us whether we want to continue it or not. Our process is the same thing we did when we did Part 2, which is if we can come up with a compelling story that has this universal message and statement about love—just like the first and second games did—then we will tell that story. If we can't come up with something, we have a very strong ending with Part 2, and that will be the end."
Druckmann previously stated in an April 2021 interview that the story for a potential Part 3 had been written but that there were no plans for game production at the time. As a co-producer and co-writer of HBO's The Last of Us series, Druckmann recently revealed that the second season of the TV series will cover The Last of Us Part 2 and that Naughty Dog could have ideas for a third entry in the series. "I believe there's more to the tale," he remarked.
Taking everything into account, Druckmann is not confirming nor denying anything about the new The Last of Us game. We will choose to remain positive and assume that the events on the beach in Los Angeles were not the last we saw of Ellie and Abby. However, something we know for sure is that Naughty Dog is working on a separate The Last of Us multiplayer game and plans to release more information about it later this year.