Sony is close to opening the floodgates for The Last of Us Part II, letting fans finally play the massively anticipated game, and creative director Neil Druckmann is thinking about the future.
In an interview on GQ, he talked about his ideas, which include the possibility of a further sequel or a completely new IP.
“As you start wrapping things up, creatively there are fewer and fewer responsibilities and my mind can’t help but think about the next thing. So, yeah, the next thing could be a Part III, the next thing could be some new IP.”
Of course, this should not be interpreted as a promise. Studios like Naughty Dog usually spend quite some time prototyping and brainstorming before they move to a new project, that being said, it’s at the very least interesting that he’s thinking about the possibility of “Part III” at this point in time.
Speaking of sequels, the interview delves into the fact that Druckmann doubted for years whether making Part II was even worthwile.
“For Druckmann, he’s faced years of doubt for even thinking a sequel was worthwhile. “The first game is so sacred. The ending is so sacred,” he says. “People are always like, ‘Do another one but focus [on] all new characters.’ Or like, ‘Do it in, like, Europe. Or do it in Japan. Do something really different.’” But in the end he felt that diverging from Joel and Ellie’s story was the “coward’s way out. To me, at that point, you might as well just do a new IP,” he continues, “versus saying: no, we’re gonna double down and we’re gonna expose what this ending means. To take some of the things that people hold sacred and just… dismantle it.”
On top of that, we hear about Druckmann’s creative partnershop with co-writer Halley Gross. She was hired for the project because he needed another perspective and the help of a writer capable of creating believable people and better jokes than he can, on top of romance, while pushing him narratively.
“I have a much easier time writing personal conflict and drama and violence than I do romance. and I struggle with that and I feel a little uncomfortable about it. And I can’t quite tell you why. Having Halley on board and having a lot of the ideas for that stuff come from her and then us developing them together gave me that confidence. Like, let’s go in areas we’ve never done before. I think without that female voice it would have been much harder.”
At times the two fought, and she spent six months trying (and succeeding) to convince him to swap the fates of two characters. They usually agreed on 80% of things, but even after discussions, things eventually returned to harmony.
If you want to learn more, you can check out the latest trailer and the new gameplay from a few days ago. An official podcast is also coming, and will launch later today. Speaking of that, it just got a teaser which you can see at the bottom of the post.