The multiplayer game of Horizon could be in a similar situation as that of The Last of Us
The franchises of The Last of Us and Horizon are working on multiplayer spin-offs, but little is known about these projects, as they have remained sh...
According to reports, Naughty Dog is reportedly facing challenges in making the multiplayer game for The Last of Us financially sustainable in the long term, leading to further delays.
The silence could indicate that both Naughty Dog and Guerrilla Games are keen on delivering high-quality multiplayer experiences and serving as pioneers for PlayStation's live-service multiplayer games.
The development of video games and the time required for releasing an indie game compared to a AAA title has always been a topic of discussion. Nowadays, it is considered inexplicable if a full-fledged AAA game from a first-party developer is released in less than two years. While many fans are aware of these longer development periods, there are some titles that can fall into years of silence, and it seems that the multiplayer spin-offs of The Last of Us and Horizon could be following that path.
As part of PlayStation's future efforts to focus more on live-service content, both The Last of Us and Horizon franchises are reportedly set to receive their respective multiplayer spin-offs. Although not much is known about both projects, they have likely been in development for quite some time. And while both games are currently in a similar situation, we hope for the best.
Horizon and The Last of Us' Multiplayer Spin-offs Have Both Gone Radio-Silent
The first rumors about a standalone multiplayer game set in The Last of Us universe emerged as early as 2019 when Naughty Dog confirmed that The Last of Us Part 2 would not ship with a multiplayer mode. Since then, fans have been hoping for some form of multiplayer spin-off in The Last of Us world, and in 2021, Naughty Dog confirmed that they are indeed working on such a game. At Summer Game Fest 2022, the untitled multiplayer game from The Last of Us was officially announced, with a promise that fans will see more of it in 2023.
Unfortunately, it seems that this promise will not come true. In May, Bloomberg reported that Naughty Dog had temporarily suspended the development of the multiplayer mode of The Last of Us while the developer carefully assessed what the game should be and how it could remain successful in the long term. According to the report, Sony had enlisted Bungie to figure out how the game would fit into a live-service model, but it proved difficult to bring this to reality. On the same day the report was published, Naughty Dog released a statement stating that the game needed more time, and since then, there has been silence surrounding The Last of Us multiplayer title.
The multiplayer spin-off of Horizon from Guerrilla has a slightly different background story. Last December, Guerrilla confirmed the existence of an online game set in the Horizon universe through a job advertisement. In July, the studio director of Guerrilla, Jan-Bart van Beek, then stated that the game would be a cooperative title. Apart from that, no official information has been released about Horizon's multiplayer spin-off, and similar to The Last of Us, it has remained silent since then.
Hopefully, this silence is actually something good for both games. Although the Bloomberg report on The Last of Us multiplayer game paints a rather bleak picture, the fact that Naughty Dog is still willing to work on the project and invest time into it remains a positive announcement. In this case, no news could actually mean good news.
Naughty Dog and Guerrilla Games are hopefully quiet about these projects because they are trying to make them as high-quality as possible. If they are to be the pioneers for the new wave of live-service multiplayer games on PlayStation, they need to excel in that regard. Otherwise, the remaining multiplayer plans of PlayStation could be seriously jeopardized.
The multiplayer spin-off game of The Last of Us is currently in development.