A sequel to the popular Naughty Dog series ‘The Last of Us’ could already been in the works, according to lead character artist Michael Knowland. On Knowland’s LinkedIn resume, the character artist claims he worked on “prototyping head sculpts” for one month on The Last of Us 2. It is not a typo, considering Knowland put his The Last of Us experience beforehand.
The date is quite interesting, Knowland finished work on June 2014, meaning a sequel was already being worked on before mid-2014. If Naughty Dog uses the same engine for the successor, it might mean a 2015 launch date.
Knowland, along with other high profile Naughty Dog members, left the company in mid-2014. A possible scrap between executives may have left the team unhappy with current conditions. Knowland now works at Avalanche Studios on Just Cause 3.
It is unclear if the same team will be working on The Last of Us 2, and whether it will follow the story of Joel and Ellie or move to another main character. Naughty Dog is currently working on Uncharted 4; A Thief’s End for early 2015 release on PS4. Naughty Dog did confirm in an Reddit AMA earlier this year the possibility of The Last of Us 2, claiming there was a 50/50 chance of it happening.
Considering The Last of Us managed to push PS3 console sales above Xbox 360 for months on end, Sony is obviously interested in a sequel, which may be able to do the same on PS4 in 2015.
The Last of Us is an expansive world, but in the main story, we are not given many new characters who still survive past the first story. It would be nice to see Naughty Dog branch out the story with more characters in the sequel.