The Last of Us 2 is still not in full production
We might be waiting a while.
Last year, Naughty Dog wrapped up Nathan Drake's nearly decade long story with Uncharted 4: A Thief's End. Many assumed after this, the team would go on a nice vacation as it's been a tireless journey that involved a ton of delays, changes in staff, and potentially changes in major plot points. The game was a massive hit and the team obviously deserved a nice break but... it seems they went right in to crafting their next game, a follow up to what is widely regarded as one of the best video games ever created, The Last of Us.
The Last of Us Part 2 was revealed at PSX in December and we weren't given much info regarding the plot outside of a brief cinematic trailer that seemingly takes place 5 or more years after the first game. Ellie is older, she's more broken and has been through a lot. Naughty Dog confirmed Ellie will be the playable character this time around but other than that, we know next to nothing.
While we knew it would be awhile before the game comes out, things started to look like they were moving at a good pace earlier this year when photos and videos from mocap sessions were posted to Twitter. That would mean they have a pretty good idea of where they're taking the story and are basically "filming" the game's story.
Sadly, it would seem that the game is still in the very early days of production. GameZone can confirm through sources that as of E3 2017, the game's production only consisted of the trailer, the first draft of the script and some design docs suggesting it may still be in pre-production. Furthermore, communications director Arne Meyer stated that due to the split-up nature of the studio working on Uncharted: The Lost Legacy and The Last of Us Part 2, the game hasn't really entered full production.
“So, we can pretty much say the whole studio will be focussed on The Last of Us Part Two once this is over. At some point, parts of the team that will try to figure out what’s next and how that goes when The Last of Us Part Two is full production.”
“A lot of people went straight from The Last of Us, straight into Uncharted 4, straight into Lost Legacy and those guys need a vacation.”
So it sounds as if the game's development will start ramping up within the next few months after the Lost Legacy team ships their game later this month and comes back from a well-earned vacation. We don't know when The Last of Us Part 2 will hit shelves but one might expect to see some gameplay at next year's E3. If we had to make a guess, we probably won't see the game until 2019 at the earliest and even then, the game could get delayed.