Naughty Dog has confirmed that its currently working on “the studio’s first standalone multiplayer game” in an update to job listings for a variety of multiplayer-focused roles.
As spotted by Push Square, several job listings for roles for a Level/Environment Designer and Gameplay Scripter have gone live which now include the blurb “Embark on Naughty Dog’s newest adventure – the studio’s first standalone multiplayer game! We’re seeking to bring the same level of ambition and quality of our signature, story-driven games to this unique multiplayer project. This is a rare opportunity to make an impact in your discipline and craft an experience that will be enjoyed and shared by millions of players around the world.”
The development team had originally been working on a Factions multiplayer for TLOU Part 2 but decided against including it with the game when the scope became too large, instead hinting via a tweet back in September 2019 that fans would “eventually experience the fruits of our team’s online ambition, but not as part of The Last of Us Part 2. When and where is still to be determined.” Purported blurry footage of the mode in development made its way online last summer.
At the moment there’s no hint whether the new game will indeed be the Factions mode made into its own game, or if it’ll instead be an entirely new IP— but we’re hopeful we’ll hear more very soon. In the meantime, a PlayStation 5 enhancement patch has recently been released for The Last of Us Part 2.