Pretty much since the launch of The Last of Us in 2013, people have been hoping for a sequel. While Naughty Dog has previously said there’s a 50/50 shot for it happening, and not looking into it would be a disservice to the fans, work may have begun on the follow-up as early as March of this year.
This is according to the LinkedIn profile of former Naughty Dog Lead Character Artist Michael Knowland, where he listed the game under his work experience at the studio:
- The Last of Us – all things main and NPC characters.
- Uncharted 4 – working on main character Nathan Drake to upgrade the face sculpt, hair (geometry/texturing/shading), facial hair, rigging topology, skin textures and arm/hand details.
- The Last of Us 2 – 1 month prototyping head sculpts.
Having left the studio in April 2014 (he’s working at Avalanche Studios on Just Cause 3 now), it suggests The Last of Us 2 could have been in development since March 2014.
As for another Naughty Dog developer, Lead Character Artist Frank Tzeng, who started after Knowland left, he lists that he’s “helping develop a unannounced AAA game title,” in addition to Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End.
Earlier this year, Naughty Dog said they were “working on two other brand-new experiences” and they “have another project on the scale of Uncharted in very early pre-production stages,” which could very well be a sequel to The Last of Us.
As this is just a listing on a LinkedIn profile, treat the existence of The Last of Us 2 as a rumor for now.