Bad news for fans of The Last of Us’ Factions multiplayer mode: The Last of Us Part II doesn’t have multiplayer, Naughty Dog and Sony have now confirmed.
The news came out following this week’s wave of hands on sessions and press interviews with the developers. Speaking to Naughty Dog Lead Game Designer Emilia Schatz, USgamer asked about the multiplayer, with Schatz reversing the previous position of the company.
Schatz said quite simply, “We’re focusing on a single-player experience, so we’re just making a single-player game for this.” This was confirmed by a Sony rep via email, saying “Correct, it is a single player game.”
This confirms recent rumours that the game would be purely single player. Back in June, packaging for the Days of Play promotional PlayStation 4 suggested that the game would not have multiplayer with a disclaimer stating “PlayStation Plus sold separately. Marvel’s Spider-Man, Days Gone, God of War and The Last of Us Part II do not support online multiplayer.”
That’s in contrast to E3 2018, where co-director Anthony Newman at E3 last year stated quite definitively, “Factions is coming back. Fellow co-director Kurt Margenau added, “Multiplayer is coming back. We’re not going to talk details yet about what form that takes, but we can confirm there will be multiplayer.”
It’s unusual, to say the least, considering that Naughty Dog have established a strong tradition of multiplayer in their games. Ever since Uncharted 2, they’ve had healthy, vibrant and inventive third person combat, with the Factions mode in The Last of Us as real highlight. You might have come for the single player, but a lot of people will have stayed for the multiplayer. It’s a disappointment, but it will be interesting to discover what happened between E3 2018 and now to see the company put its hard work on multiplayer to one side.
Then again, we pondered the issue a few months ago, saying “It would be a shame, but it seems very unlikely considering just how well Factions was received, not to mention Sony’s current lack of a strong multiplayer focused game. At the same time, it’s obviously not going to be the sequel’s biggest selling point. A purely single player sequel is bound to shift copies by the boatload, even if The Last of Us Part II clocks in at around the ten-hour mark.”