A couple of years back, development of "The Last of Us 2" had been dubbed a "50−50" chance, with the developer focusing more on another game, "Uncharted 4: A Thief's End." Game developer Naughty Dog had pointed out that the possibility of a sequel for "The Last of Us" was not a priority then, indicating that the much-awaited second installment had been put on hold. But with the looming release of "Uncharted 4" on May 10th, hopes for a following update on "The Last of Us" are back on high.
Neil Druckmann, Naughty Dog programmer as well as creative director, shared on Gamerant, "All those things were left on hold when we had to come onto Uncharted 4 to direct the project. Our next focus is the single player [Uncharted 4] DLC and then, once we have enough resources, resurrect all those prototypes; see where we're at, see where the teams at, what they're excited for and go from there."
No clear confirmation on the future of "The Last of Us 2" has been forthcoming from either Naughty Dog or Sony. But an artist who used to work for Naughty Dog, Michael Knowland, clued in fans on the survival horror video game, through his LinkedIn profile, that he had been in fact "prototyping head sculpts" and very clearly indicating it was for "The Last of Us 2."
And so, even though Druckmann may only be intimating the possibility of developing another game after the "Uncharted 4" release-and only a possibility that it is a second helping of "The Last of Us"-it is probable that, with possible "The Last of Us 2" brought up to early stages of production after Knowland's work, the developer may well take it up, making it the next project in focus.
Without any definite word, speculation has been the only recourse. The latest one is a hopeful guess that "The Last of Us 2" may be unveiled at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in 2017, the soonest possible event to come after the release of "Uncharted 4." That being said, a release date may still be far off, presuming "The Last of Us 2" will be chosen as Naughty Dog's next project.