Bloomberg was the first to report on the news where they published an extensive report detailing a lot of things, including the story behind the surprising remake of the 2013 title.
Apparently Sony had set up a small development unit at Sony Visual Art Services Group to work on a PS5 remake. However, Sony has since decided to turn the project over to the game's original developers, Naughty Dog.
Naughty Dog worked on The Last of Us in 2009 following their release of Uncharted 2: Among Thieves. The company decided to split their resources in between Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception and The Last of Us. Four years later, Naughty Dog released The Last of Us in 2013 as one of the last big titles for the PlayStation 3. They later released a remastered version of the game for the PlayStation 4 in 2014.
With that said, if the reports are true, a PS5 remake of The Last of Us will include more than just graphical improvements. If remade, the new game will also include changes to the gameplay similar to the ones introduced in its 2020 sequel, The Last of Us Part II.
Why Is Sony Remaking The Last of Us?
Graphically, The Last of Us holds up well even when compared to today's standards. Although there are parts where it shows that it was a game made nearly a decade ago, it remains an iconic masterpiece that should stand the test of time. Thus, Sony's decision to remake The Last of Us doesn't seem like the most reasonable choice.
What makes this move even more surprising is how big of an undertaking it's already looking like.
Sony's Visual Arts Service Group is an internal team that has worked on some of Sony's biggest first-party projects. In particular, they've supplied everything from art to animation and even helped in the development of Insomniac Games' Spider-Man titles and Naughty Dogs' Uncharted series of games. However, the internal team wanted to work on their own game and thought that a remake of an already popular title would be a good start.
Unfortunately, Sony isn't looking like it entirely trusts the small team with such a big game. After tentatively approving the project, the report states that Sony refused to give them a larger budget. As a result, the Visual Arts Service Group will go back to providing support for the remake while Naughty Dog works on developing it.
Bloomberg's report also claims that the remake is part of Sony's decision to do some reorganizing in its first-party development studios. However, this has not been met with zero resistance. In fact, the reports states that the studios are currently struggling with Sony's desire to assign blockbuster-scale projects to its major studios while relegating less-expensive passion projects to the smaller teams.
On that note, Days Gone developer, Bend Studio, reportedly saw their sequel pitch for their open-world zombie title rejected by Sony. Instead, Sony had asked them to help Naughty Dog work on a multiplayer project and the next Uncharted game. But Bend's leadership eventually refused the assignment and asked to work on a new game on their own.
As of the moment, we know very little about the Last of Us PS5 remake. The only source we have to go on is Bloomberg's report.
Speaking of The Last of Us, the HBO TV series adaptation is slated to start filming in July 2021.