Perfectly understandable, even if still disappointing. As the world grinds to a halt in the grip of COVID-19, many things we had all been rabidly anticipating have been delayed, in some cases indefinitely. Movies, television, and of course games, we’re to have to wait until this crisis is resolved — and it’s looking like that probably won’t be for a while yet. While many immediate releases will still be hitting their marks, Resident Evil 3 Remake and Final Fantasy 7 Remake as examples, several others are getting the ax for the time being. The Last of Us Part 2, the highly anticipated follow-up to 2013’s zombie shooter/emotional gut-punch sim, has sadly fallen into the crosshairs of the virus’ delay canon. From their official Twitter:
A message from us about the delay of The Last of Us Part II: pic.twitter.com/aGsSRfmJ8a
— Naughty Dog (@Naughty_Dog) April 2, 2020
This comes as no surprise, and the most important thing here is that everyone stays safe. The world is a pretty scary place right now, and video games aren’t exactly ‘essential’. It is worth remembering that this comes right on the heels of some worrying reports that Naughty Dog’s crunch period was horribly toxic and that The Last of Us Part 2‘s quality was coming “at a huge cost to the people” working on it. Hearing that the game’s delay is due to “logistics” without signaling any concern for the team behind it and only the potential customers, isn’t exactly a great way to follow it up. Hell, they don’t even actually reference COVID-19, and their message could arguably be interpreted as “we want to make sure it sells really well on launch day rather than people having to put off buying it right away”. Take away what you will from their statement, I suppose, but it isn’t inspiring in the light of some of what’s been reported about the studio.
The Last of Us Part 2 no longer has a release date, but for now, there’s plenty of other titles that have just released or are about to release. Just picked up Vampire: The Masquerade — Coteries of New York on Switch, so look forward to a review of that soon, and there’s tomorrow’s Resident Evil: Resistance (packed with Resident Evil 3 Remake, of course).
Update: Kotaku’s Jason Scheier had this to say about the delay on Twitter:
– TLOUII was on track for May, multiple devs say. The primary reason for the delay is the challenge of printing, shipping, and selling physical games right now
– Going remote has not stopped those still working on the game (such as QA) from crunching. Hopefully this delay helps
— Jason Schreier (@jasonschreier) April 2, 2020