Neil Druckmann, director of The Last of Us Part 2, has revealed that he is already thinking about a possible Part 3 for the acclaimed survival-action series (via Twinfinite).

Players haven’t even gotten their hands on the upcoming game, as it will launch next week for PlayStation 4. Still, Druckmann is feeling good about its reception. In an interview with GQ, he outlined his ideas for the future of Naughty Dog. “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 3, the next thing could be some new IP,” he said. That isn’t an outright confirmation, of course, but it does divulge a little insight into the events of The Last of Us Part 2.

Druckmann also said that he had wrestled with the possibility of continuing Ellie and Joel’s story for a long time before Part 2 was officially announced. “The first game is so sacred. The ending is so sacred,” explained the director. “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.’” However, he felt that leaving Ellie and Joel behind for a clean slate was a “coward’s way out” and the team “might as well just do a new IP.” In The Last of Us Part 2, Druckmann and Naughty Dog hope to “double down” on the ending of The Last of Us, and “take some of the things that people hold sacred and just… dismantle it.”

So, if there is going to be a Part 3, it would focus on Ellie and Joel once again, judging by Druckmann’s words. At the same time, that isn’t a guarantee that either character is safe from harm, especially in a game that explores the concept of “hate.” Moreover, Naughty Dog could shelve The Last of Us in favour of developing a new IP, and return for a Part 3 towards the end of the PlayStation 5’s life. We’ll let you know how things unfold. 

The Last of Us Part 2 will launch for PlayStation 4 on June 19. 
 

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