‘The Last Of Us Part 2 Remastered’ Feeds A Misguided Naughty Dog Narrative
It’s become something of a running joke in the industry that Naughty Dog keeps remastering and re-releasing their games, even when they’re barely a few years old. That once again came up this past week when it was revealed that The Last of Us Part 2, released in 2020 on PS4, would get a PS5 update on January 19, 2024. For existing players, it’s a $10 upgrade.
It’s true, this is…the fourth time they’ve done something like this. TLOU 2 remastered joins 2022’s The Last of Us Part 1, remade for new systems. Uncharted, Legacy of Thieves, remastered of Uncharted 4 and Lost Legacy. The Last of Us Remastered was back in 2014, a remaster of the PS3 version for PS4.
That’s a lot, but I’m not sure I buy the narrative that all these remasters are prying Naughty Dog away from more pressing projects. I mean, you look at their release cadence for their original games, and we have:
- Uncharted 1 – 2007
- Uncharted 2 – 2009
- Uncharted 3 – 2011
- The Last of Us – 2013
- The Last of Us: Left Behind – 2014
- Uncharted 4 – 2016
- Uncharted: Lost Legacy – 2017
- The Last of Us Part II – 2020
That is…a kind of accelerated cadence of releases for a AAA studio, so much so that it’s probably too much output, given the accusations of crunch at Naughty Dog over the years. But this, plus threading in the four remasters, which are generally not worked on by the main Naughty Dog team, is a lot.
The longest gap we see here is 2020 to now, as we’re about to head into 2024. One of the reasons for that, we know, is that Naughty Dog has been trying to build out The Last of Us: Factions, its live service multiplayer game as part of a fresh live service push for Sony. But it’s reportedly not really working, as evidenced by Bungie giving it a thumbs down when they were consulted, and some devs were pulled from it. Other than that, Nathan Drake’s Uncharted story is over, The Last of Us may never get a Part III (I still think it will) and what is allegedly a new sci-fi IP is being worked on. So yeah, I do get the current gap, and I’ll mostly blame Factions for it.
This recent controversy which turned out to be a $10 upgrade for a game PlayStation players already own, is nothing. None of these remasters, as goofy as it may be that we’ve gotten four, including The Last of Us twice, seem to be interfering with Naughty Dog making major games and expansions. Again, if anything, they’re working too hard and fast on this stuff to the detriment of their employees.
The current gap will be the longest, but who knows, sure, we’ll probably see an Uncharted 1-3 remake for PS5 soon, given current trends.
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