Sony has confirmed that Bruce Straley will not be returning to helm Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us: Part 2.
Speaking to Kotaku (via GameSpot), the format holder confirmed that Straley, who co-directed the The Last of Us and Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End with Neil Druckmann, will not be returning for the much-anticipated sequel as he’s taking some “much deserved time off.”
"Bruce recently decided to take some much deserved time off after shipping two critically acclaimed games in the last few years," said Sony. "He's looking forward to returning to the studio soon and jumping back in on his next project."
Related - The Last of Us 2 announced
As a result of Straley’s break, Druckman will be stepping up to direct The Last of Us: Part 2. The project was announced during the PlayStation Experience 2016 keynote on Saturday morning, where a teaser trailer confirmed the return of both Joel and Ellie for the follow-up. The game is currently in the early stages of development, and was originally intended to be announced at E3 2017; however, Naughty Dog was insistent on revealing the title during PSX.
The Last of Us: Part 2 release date is still a long way off
According to details that have since been confirmed by Druckmann and co, The Last of Us: Part 2’s central theme will be hate, as Ellie is depicted in the trailer as being hell-bent hunting down and killing a number of people, thought to be the Fireflies. Players will control Ellie as the main protagonist, and while Joel is featured in the game, it remains unknown just how much of a role he will play in the adventure.
The Last of Us: Part 2 is due out exclusively on PlayStation 4, although a release date has yet to be confirmed. Given the fact it’s early in development however, we imagine the game won’t be available until around 2019.