The Last of Us Part III: is third The Last of Us game in development - what has Neil Druckmann said?

“More story to tell”

Neil Druckmann has revealed what would be required for Naughty Dog to work on a third The Last of Us game.

It comes after the successful launch of the HBO series starring Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey on Sunday (15 Janaury) in the United States and Monday (16 January) in the UK and Europe. It is available to watch on Sky Atlantic and NOW TV, with episodes airing weekly.

Craig Maizin, who wrote the Emmy-winning Chernobyl series, has brought the story of Joel and Ellie to the small screen. He is the co-showrunner alongside Druckmann, who was the written and director on both Last of Us (TLOU) games.

Naughty Dog released a remake of TLOU, called The Last of Us Part I, built for the ground up for the PS5 in late 2022, it is due for release on PC in March. Its arrival comes ahead of the HBO series and was the studio’s first game since The Last of Us Part II in 2020.

But what is the future of the video game series, what has been said about Naughty Dog and Druckmann? Here is all you need to know:

Will there be a Last of Us Part III?

The Last of Us Part II sold over four million copies on its first weekend and has by 2022 sold over 10 million, with the series at a whole selling over 37 million. However despite its success, Naughty Dog has yet to announce any future titles in the series.

Druckmann’s official Twitter bio states: “Naughty Dog Co-President; The Last of Us HBO; The Last of Us Part I & II; Uncharted 4; and THAT future game!” Fans have speculated that the unannounced game could be a future installment in The Last of Us series.

The Last of Us Part III has not been officially announced as being in development. But Druckmann and Naughty Dog did confirm at the Summer Games Fest in 2022 that the studio is working on a sequel to The Last of Us’ Factions multiplayer mode, which had been due to arrive with TLOU Part II but is still in development.

Last Of Us Part II

What has Neil Druckmann said about Part III?

Forbes reports that in the run up to the release of HBO series, Druckmann teased future installments in the franchise. He said that there is “more story to tell” in the universe of the games.

Previously in April 2021, Druckmann confirmed that an outline for a third Last of Us game had been written together with his co-writer on the 2020 sequel. He said: “I don’t know how much I want to reveal… [co-writer Halley Gross] and I did write an outline for a story, that we’re not making – but I hope one day can see the light of day – that explores a little bit what happens after this game. We’ll see.”

In an interview with Buzzfeed after episode two of the HBO series aired, Druckmann added: “It’s up to us whether we want to continue it or not. Our process is the same thing we did when we did Part 2, which is if we can come up with a compelling story that has this universal message and statement about love — just like the first and second game did — then we will tell that story. If we can’t come up with something, we have a very strong ending with Part 2 and that will be the end.”

Naughty Dog on “big year to come” for Last of Us franchise

In a post on the company’s official website in early January 2023, Druckmann wrote: “We’re looking ahead to The Last of Us’ 10th anniversary in June, and we’re so excited to share more with you about the future of this franchise. We’ll have some fun surprises for you along the way, but later this year we will begin to offer you some details on our ambitious The Last of Us multiplayer game.

“With a team led by Vinit Agarwal, Joe Pettinati, and Anthony Newman, the project is shaping up to be a fresh, new experience from our studio, but one rooted in Naughty Dog’s passion for delivering incredible stories, characters, and gameplay.

“It has been an unbelievable 10 years, and to know the journey of our characters has meant so much to so many of you moves our team. Thank you for your support and appreciation for the work our teams do. We hope you’ll continue to follow us along this road, just don’t forget to pack a brick or bottle. Until next time, endure and survive.”