On April 2nd, Sony Interactive Entertainment announced the delay of The Last of Us Part II. It was the second time they delayed the game. The first time, due to development, the second time around, due to logistical reasons revolving around the current pandemic, COVID-19.
As soon as SIE announced the delay, Naughty Dog issued a statement regarding the delay. In a blog post, the company wrote –
However, even with us finishing the game, we were faced with the reality that due to logistics beyond our control, we couldn’t launch The Last of Us Part II to our satisfaction. We want to make sure everyone gets to play The Last of Us Part II around the same time, ensuring that we’re doing everything possible to preserve the best experience for everyone. This meant delaying the game until such a time where we can solve these logistic issues.
On a PlayStation Blogcast, creative director Neil Druckmann sat down with Sid Shuman to discuss the delay at length. Here are the key points from the blogcast –
- When the studio moved to work from home employees were told to take care of themselves and be with their family. Employees came first, release date 2nd with employees being allowed to take off a day or two if needed, even if the whole situation meant the May 29th date couldn’t be made.
- When asked why they don’t just release the digital version on May 29th: “there hasn’t been a final decision yet”. Mentions how some places might not have the proper infrastructure in place for a digital-only release doesn’t want those places left out. Right now looking at different options to get the game to everyone as soon as possible, but doing so will take time and it will obviously depend on how the coronavirus situation develops.
- When asked about a playable demo in the PlayStation Store he mentions how a public demo like that isn’t comparable to the controlled environment which comes with a behind closed doors press demo or something at another event. Also mentions how making a demo fit for public release takes a lot of work, with the demo the press played months ago obviously being outdated, the game has been improved greatly since.
- Development is at the 1-yard line, nothing left but final bugs and polishing.
As many of us speculated, Sony Interactive Entertainment indeed delayed the game keeping in mind the hundreds and thousands of physical copies, that people have either pre-ordered or the ones that should appear on store shelves.
Even if SIE decided to launch the game digitally, which they refused, it wouldn’t have been possible for many of us to download it, given the current download speed throttles and heavy internet usage across the globe.
Kotaku’s Jason Schreier wrote in a tweet that multiple developers working on the game have confirmed that The Last of Us Part II was on track for May. The primary reason for the delay, however, is the challenge of printing, shipping, and selling physical games.
The Last of Us Part II has been delayed indefinitely and we don’t have a revised release date yet. We’ll wait for an announcement soon and notify you as soon as there’s one.
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