The world of The Last of Us continues to expand in 2023. No, we're not just referring to the live-action adaptation headed to HBO Max in January. There are more video game projects coming down the line that are aiming to make the lore of the acclaimed video game franchise even more robust. While this may not exactly arrive in the form of a direct sequel, the development team at Naughty Dog is currently working on a new experience set within the Last of Us universe.
The game's last major release (next-gen remake notwithstanding) was The Last of Us Part II in 2020. This sequel takes place five years after the first and follows Ellie (Ashley Johnson) on her quest for vengeance in a post-apocalyptic world ravaged by zombie-like fungal monsters.
To the surprise of many, the game was released without a multiplayer mode. Naughty Dog would later reveal that this mode is being spun off into its own title. Here's what we know about the fan-titled Factions 2.
When is the 'Factions 2' release date? What we know about the 'Last of Us' multiplayer game.
Unlike the first game released in 2013 on the PS3, The Last of Us Part II did not roll out any multiplayer mode upon its release. It wasn't until two years after the sequel's launch that Naughty Dog co-president and Last of Us creator Neil Druckmann unveiled the studio's plans for a new story set within the Last of Us series.
In an interview with Geoff Keighley at the 2022 Summer Games Fest, Neil revealed that Naughty Dog was developing a new Last of Us multiplayer game as a "standalone title."
According to Neil, the team had been working on this new game for two years up until that point. This likely means that their plans for Last of Us Part II multiplayer have DLC expanded considerably. While he was remarkably tight-lipped on the game's progress, he did openly discuss the scope that they want to achieve with this game.
"It's as big as any of our single-player games that we've done and in some ways, bigger," Neil boasts. The game will also feature its own story and characters.
As of this writing, there is no set release date for the tentatively titled Factions 2. Though during the conference, Neil did tease that more news for the game will be revealed sometime in 2023.
In August 2021, fans also uncovered hidden multiplayer assets in The Last of Us Part II that hinted at a battle royale mode. However, only time will tell whether these rumors will come to fruition in the upcoming game.
Multiplayer for 'The Last of Us' is no longer available on any platforms.
In case you were wondering, the unofficial fan-name Factions 2 is derived from "Factions," the name for the multiplayer mode for the first Last of Us game. This mode allowed up to eight players to join online to compete with or against each other in several competitive modes.
However, the multiplayer servers for Factions were shut down in September 2019. Additionally, there are no multiplayer modes featured in the 2022 remake of The Last of Us on PS5 and PC.
For the time being, fans will have to wait on an update on the new Factions 2 throughout the year.