The Last of Us 2 is not in development yet, but ideas were brainstormed by Naughty Dog

The Last of Us 2 is not currently in development but ideas were brainstormed featuring both new and old characters in the frame, the original game’s creative director has revealed.

Speaking with the latest issue of OPM UK, Neil Druckmann clarified reports regarding a sequel to the critically acclaimed action-horror title, after voice actor Nolan North seemed to let the cat out of the bag earlier this summer. More fuel to the fire was added when Naughty Dog referred to the game as ‘the first Last of Us.’

"I can say that was kind of a surprise for us for him to say that," said Druckmann "I was like ‘Oh he knows more than we know [about] what we’re doing next.’ We joked about it afterwards during shoots and stuff."

"The answer is – and this is totally honest, and I’ve said this in the past – that when Bruce (Straley) and I moved over to Uncharted 4, we were brainstorming ideas for The Last Of Us 2 with new characters; ideas for TLOU 2 with Joel and Ellie; ideas for a sci-fi game; ideas for a fantasy game, and building prototypes for each one of those ideas. And just as we were getting close to settling or narrowing that list down, we were asked to work on Uncharted 4." 

Druckmann made it clear that the California-based studio has no idea what it is working on next, and this is unlikey to change until Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End is complete. 

"You know, there’s a part of me that’s really looking forward to going back to those things, but I have no cycles left in my mind even to be thinking about that right now!" he says. "So, I guess he (North) was kind of right in that we were working on stuff, but we don’t know what we’re doing next and we won’t know until probably a few months after we finish Uncharted 4." 

The Last of Us 2 has been rumored for some time now. The sequel has appeared on the LinkedIn profile of a former Naughty Dog employee, and the studio has previously confirmed that it was exploring ideas for a follow-up.

However, Troy Baker, who voiced protagonist Joel in The Last of Us, said that a sequel was not in development as far as he knew. Despite this, he expressed interest in reprising his role as the gruff hero in a possible follow-up.

The Last of Us was released on PS3 in June 2013 and was later re-released for PS4 as The Last of Us: Remastered. The original version has gone on to sell over six million copies worldwide. Despite the game’s success, Naughty Dog admitted it thought the title would flop.