A new report indicates that a remake of The Last of Us is in development at Naughty Dog, but that wasn't always the case. Naughty Dog's sequel, The Last of Us 2, has garnered mostly critical acclaim once again for the series winning more Game of the Year awards than any other in gaming history and further cementing Naughty Dog as a premier studio for PlayStation games. But apparently the The Last of Us remake was originally given to a smaller team of around 30 members pulled from Sony Corp.'s Visual Arts Service Group, a team that has worked in the background on landmark PlayStation series like Spider-Man and Uncharted.
Although The Last of Us was remastered for the PS4 shortly after its PS3 release, there's been no official word on a full remake of the game until now. The PS5 has made some impressive leaps in gaming technology, and it seems Sony is keen on releasing one of its blockbuster hits once again for an even bigger audience. The unnamed team from the Visual Arts Service Group was initially given the go-ahead by Sony to do a remake of The Last of Us, but the team was also kept secret with severe limitations on budget. This would lead to more disappointment for the development team, and many original members have now left the project.
The team from the Visual Arts Service Group, lead by group founder Michael Mumbauer, chose to do a remake of The Last of Us with idea that it would be well-received by Sony executives and less expensive to do than a remake of an earlier Sony blockbuster like Uncharted. However, neither of these ideas worked in the team's favor. A new Sony executive placed over the remake project felt it was still too expensive, and Mumbauer's team was forced to put the project on hold to instead help Naughty Dog finish up on The Last of Us 2.
But as soon as development on The Last of Us 2 was completed, Sony decided to send Naughty Dog team members over to the remake project to help out. Mumbauer's team saw this as a frustrating breach of autonomy over a project they had worked hard on, and soon it seemed that Sony placed more faith in the Naughty Dog members than on the Visual Arts Service Group team. By December of 2020, Mumbauer and most of the top team members had left the project.
The Last of Us remake project is still in development now at Naughty Dog with assistance from the Visual Arts Service Group. As of now there is no scheduled release date for the project, but the game has been in the works for at least a year. The Last of Us HBO show also has no release date, but there will likely be more news concerning these projects later this year.
The Last of Us franchise may boast strong gameplay and gorgeous visuals, but it is praised the most for its intricate storytelling and complex characters. One fan of the series has translated the best moments from The Last of Us and its sequel into a series of art pieces, a process that must have taken a massive amount of time and focus.
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