Naughty Dog's Neil Druckmann has said that he and co-writer Halley Gross have written a story outline for a potential The Last of Us: Part III, though the studio isn't making the sequel right now.
The comments came during the latest episode of the Script Apart podcast (as spotted by IGN) that Druckmann & Gross were guesting on talking about the scriptwriting of The Last of Us Part II. Naturally, the topic of a third game was brought up, and Druckmann said "I don’t know how much I want to reveal… [Halley] 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."
Obviously he didn't give any indications on where a third game might take the characters in the world of The Last of Us, but Druckmann did add "We’ve now had two games that I feel speak to something universal as well as telling a very personal story for these characters. With one game, there’s no pattern of what a franchise is. With two games, now there’s starting to be a pattern – now I feel like there are some structural and thematic themes you'd have to stick to if you're making a third game."
However, the studio won't be going into a third game lightly when and if it does, with Druckmann saying "After we finish one of our big titles we take a long time to explore different ideas, whether it’s going to be Last of Us III, whether it's something new, whether there's some old franchise we want to go back to. I like to fully explore all of those, then look at, like: okay, we have all of these ideas in front of us. As a studio, what do we want to commit to? Because it’s a huge commitment – monetary, time, passion, talent, so you think about all the opportunity costs that come with that."
For now, it seems we'll have to patiently wait and see what Naughty Dog have up their sleeves next, although unconfirmed rumours surfaced at the start of this month that the studio would be working on a PlayStation 5 remake of the first game in The Last of Us' series. You can have a read of our review of The Last of Us Part II which released on PlayStation 4 last summer just over here.