Last week we were hit with the heart crushing news that The Last Of Us Part 2 is being delayed yet again. This time though, there’s no new release date. Players’ dreams of the game coming out sooner rather than later were crushed once and for all earlier this week when Sony began refunding pre-orders of the game and the title was completely removed from the store, almost like it never even existed. So with no clear end in sight to this COVID19 pandemic and the PS5 coming just over the horizon, when could we finally see The Last Of Us Part 2? Pull out your calendars folks, we’re about to try to figure this thing out!
My first thought was that maybe we’ll see it at the tail end of this year. The only issue with this is that it would clash with the holiday launch of the PS5. There’s no way in hell that Sony will want two massive launches at the same time, one of which being for a game which isn’t even on PS5, meaning that they completely counteract each other and potentially cause some confusion amongst less savvy buyers.
Naughty Dog could potentially release TLOU2 as a PS5 launch title so that the two can be marketed together as one, but there’s a good chance this would backfire. Most buyers know full well that this game was scheduled for a PS4 release, so all of a sudden making you have to buy a new console to play it would be nothing short of a slap in the face and may turn a fair few people away.
As you’re sitting down reading this, probably looking out at the current summer-like weather we’re currently experiencing, you might think that it could easily be released later in the summer. True it could, but even here I see a few issues. First off we can rule out June, chances are we’ll all still be dealing with this pandemic and there’s no way Naughty Dog would take such drastic measures like refunding pre-orders just to release it a month later than planned. By this logic we can probably safely rule out July as well, besides even if we are all allowed back to the pub come July, there’s certainly no chance that people will be going out and buying video games!
So that leaves us August and September, that’s assuming that we’re in full PS5 marketing mode come October until the end of the year. First off, August will likely suffer the same fate as July, the weather will be beautiful and most people will want to be out enjoying their lockdown release (if it happens) rather than playing through the dark and gritty Last Of Us world. So that leaves a pretty narrow gap for September…
Enter Cyberpunk 2077 and The Avengers. Now I personally believe that TLOU2 is the unopposed biggest release scheduled (well formally scheduled) for 2020. Having said that, I don’t think it makes financial sense for Sony and Naughty Dog to go up against these two mammoth releases. I personally know many people who can only afford one game per month and may well ditch TLOU2 in favour of Cyberpunk 2077 or The Avengers. Sony will surely want to avoid this scenario right?
Well we don’t seem to be left with many options here do we? I’m sure conversations like this have been playing out for a while at the Sony offices and I can almost guarantee one crazy solution we have yet to cover has been put forward… Delay the PS5. Could we potentially see the holiday period completely dedicated to TLOU2 rather than the shiny new PS5? It would kind of make sense, with everything that is going on, there is already talk of the next gen consoles being pushed back. Launching a new system is a big job at the best of times, let alone in a year like this one. Logistically speaking, it would be so much easier for Sony to step back and let the PS5 come out early 2021 and have the PS4 bow out nicely with The Last Of Us Part 2 this Christmas.
As is the case with every suggestion here, there’s another glaring issue and that is of course the Xbox Series X. Could Sony afford to back down and hand the Holiday period exclusively to Microsoft? It would be a brave move that’s for sure, and one where they’d have to trust a lot of loyal PlayStation players to hold out while their buddies all gleefully dive into the next generation of gaming without them.
Simply put, there’s no easy answer here. There’s not a single month which stands out as an obvious release period for something as big as TLOU2 with everything else that’s going on around it. We haven’t even discussed the potential of it coming out on PS4 AFTER the PS5 has been released, maybe as late as next year. As scary as this sounds to somebody like me who is dying to get his hands on the game, this could easily work given that PS4 games are going to be playable on PS5 anyway. Unfortunately though it kills any marketing of it being the PS4’s ‘swan song’ and would mean we’ve had to wait an entire year from its original February release date.
If you were to push me for a prediction, I’d say they’ll likely choose to cut their losses and just release in September alongside some of the other big boys. They might even be putting all their eggs in one basket and hoping that a game like Cyberpunk receives yet another delay, opening the door for Joel and Ellie to dominate the market. What do you see happening? Make sure to let me know in the comments below and keep an eye right here at Respawning for more Last Of Us news.Become a Patron!