Naughty Dog has a story outline for The Last of Us Part 3, meaning that, though it probably won’t exist anytime soon, the possibility of that game being made is very much on the table.
Creative director Neil Druckmann revealed the existence of the story outline in an interview with the Script Apart podcast. Specifically, he said that he and co-writer Halley Gross had written the outline already, “[that] I hope one day can see the light of day – that explores a little bit what happens after this game. We’ll see.” He added that the script had been shelved for the time being, as Naughty Dog decides what game to make next.
I don’t see any reason Naughty Dog wouldn’t want to return to the universe of The Last of Us. Both of the games in the series so far have been runaway successes for both the developer and publisher Sony. Druckmann added that the creative team takes some time after each game to determine which one they wanted to work on next: “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… Because it’s a huge commitment – monetary, time, passion, talent, so you think about all the opportunity costs that come with that.”
Admittedly, Druckmann mentioning an old franchise they might want to go back to makes me think of how much I’d enjoy seeing Naughty Dog go back to the Jak and Daxter franchise, but that’s probably not going to happen. While the developers likely have enough pull now to make whatever they want, rumor has it Sony only wants AAA hits and is being very selective about which projects they back.
Source: Script Apart