The list of industry accolades for developer Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us 2 is long and well-documented. The action-adventure game set in a post-apocalyptic world is a highly cinematic experience that has not only broken the record for most Game of the Year awards in industry history, but The Last Us 2 also broke the record for the most BAFTA award nominations with thirteen.
Like its predecessor, The Last of Us, The Last of Us 2 is a story-driven experience that employs some of the best voice actors and technology in gaming to tell a focused, single-player narrative. However, a new job listing by Naughty Dog suggests the game could be getting a multiplayer spin-off with live service elements.
A job posting on Naughty Dog’s website reveals the developer is looking for an Economy Designer for a multiplayer game experience. The Economy Designer’s job would be to successfully oversee online multiplayer elements of a certain game, which can include paywall content like microtransactions but doesn’t always have to. While this job posting doesn’t say anything specifically about The Last of 2, there is speculation that the game could get a multiplayer spin off similar to that of the Factions MP mode in The Last of Us.
Factions MP was a mode for The Last of Us that provided a multiplayer experience to go along with the single-player narrative. Players were tasked with leading a group of survivors on either the Fireflies or Hunters team and outfox opponents in different modes like Supply Raid, Survivors, or Interrogation. Factions MP did have an in-game currency system based on resources that was used to purchase upgrades and other items, but it did not feature any microtransaction elements like paying real money for cosmetics or loot boxes.
Naughty Dog has stated in the past that The Last of Us 2 would not feature online multiplayer elements, but did say that players might “experience the fruits of our team’s online ambition” in a gaming experience separate from The Last of Us 2. This could just mean Naughty Dog is developing a multiplayer online game completely unrelated to The Last of Us 2, but it could also be a separate multiplayer experience set in the world of the game. Interestingly enough, a recently leaked Naughty Dog 2021 project list did include a multiplayer version of The Last of Us 2 for PS4/PS5.
If Naughty Dog is working on a multiplayer version of The Last of Us 2, it will be interesting to see how the company handles live service elements. Loot boxes and microtransactions still provoke much debate, and even season passes as live service elements like in Turtle Rock’s upcoming Back 4 Blood still raise concerns from some gamers about exploitative content. However Naughty Dog handles the situation, The Last of Us 2‘s success means there are plenty of gamers that would jump at the chance to play multiplayer again in the apocalyptic world.
The Last of Us 2 is available now on the PS4 and is compatible with the PS5.
Source: Naughty Dog