By Nick Romano
April 02, 2020 at 02:38 PM EDT
The Last of Us Part II
Credit: Sony Interactive Entertainment

The Last of Us Part II

  • Video Games

There's good news and bad news for gamers patiently waiting for The Last of Us Part II, the highly (highly) anticipated sequel to the 2013 hit apocalyptic saga. The good news is that the developers at Naughty Dog announced they are "nearly done with development" and "are in the midst of fixing [the] final bugs." The bad news, the game has now been delayed indefinitely.

"We're sure this news is just as disappointing to you as it is to us," a statement from Naughty Dog reads. "We wanted to reach out to all of you in our community to give you a little more information."

The Last of Us Part II was initially set to drop on Feb. 21, 2020, but the game was delayed until May 29 so the team could "reduce stress" and provide a "level of satisfaction," they said at the time. Now, Naughty Dog states, "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."

Though the word "coronavirus" wasn't mentioned, a separate update on Twitter from Sony Interactive Entertainment, which is releasing The Last of Us Part II, did cite "the global crisis" as preventing them from "providing the launch experience our players deserve."

It's no secret that the COVID-19 pandemic has caused certain glitches in the scheme of the gaming industry as developers and publishers operate from remote locations in self-isolation. Bethesda's Senior Vice President Pete Hines mentioned recently that the studio couldn't host a digital showcase for their games "given the many challenges we're facing due to the pandemic."

Other labels have found that shipments of their games are now getting delayed, since Amazon is reprioritizing shipping around essential items. For the upcoming Final Fantasy VII, Square Enix announced efforts to ship the title early, but that would result in some receiving the game much further in advance than others with a higher risk of people spoiling the surprises.

"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," the Naughty Dog statement continues. "This meant delaying the game until such a time when we can solve these logistic issues. We were bummed about this decision but ultimately understood it's what's best and fair to all of our players. We're hoping that this won't be a long delay and we'll update you as soon as we have new information to share."

The Last of Us Part II continues the story of Ellie. In the first game, which took place decades after a pandemic decimated human life and transformed many into zombie-like creatures, the then-teen girl was immune to the virus. With help from a man named Joel, one with his own tragic past, Ellie embarked on a journey across a ravaged earth to find those who could possibly use her to find a cure. The sequel catches up with her five years later enjoying a peaceful life in a community when a violent event thrusts her on a mission for justice.

HBO is currently developing a TV adaptation with the games' creative director Neil Druckmann, who's writing with Chernobyl's Craig Mazin.

"Extremely sad to deliver this news to y’all," Druckmann tweeted of the game's delay. "Ultimately, the situation is out of our control. We hope you understand. Stay safe out there."

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The Last of Us Part II

  • Video Games
release date
  • 02/21/2020