'The Last of Us Part II' Factions: Naughty Dog Gives Update on Delayed Multiplayer Mode

The "Factions" multiplayer mode for The Last of Us Part II is still in development according to the creative team at Naughty Dog, who has confirmed that it was currently "working on it."

The announcement was made as part of The Last of Us Day celebration on Sunday, September 26. For those who do not know, this is an annual event within the fan community that marks the anniversary of the in-game Cordyceps outbreak, as well as protagonist Joel's birthday.

Much like the May 4th celebration for Star Wars, it's an occasion devoted entirely to The Last of Us universe and is often used by developer Naughty Dog to reveal upcoming content or to drop exciting news.

This year's event was not quite as momentous as some were hoping for, as we were not treated to an announcement of the rumored remake of the first PS3 game, nor did we hear anything about a PC port for its sequel. Instead, fans had to make do with the announcement of some new merchandise, a photo mode competition and a single image from HBO's imminent Last of Us TV show.

In short, it was an underwhelming celebration for fans, who were expecting to hear something more substantial. However, Naughty Dog did finally unveil what is happening with The Last of Us Part II's long-delayed multiplayer offering.

Please announce The Last of Us multiplayer standalone. Please…… https://t.co/fKlBiyofOe

— Goldy (@GoldGloveTV) September 26, 2021

What Is 'The Last of Us' Factions Mode?

As a quick recap, The Last of Us Part II was originally meant to launch with an updated version of the first game's "Factions" mode.

This was an online multiplayer component—entirely separate from the story campaign—in which gamers forged temporary alliances with each other in order to defeat a rival team. The objectives varied from taking out the competition, to conducting supply raids, and retrieving lockboxes.

For The Last of Us Part II, a new and improved version of Factions was going to be released concurrently with the single player mode. Yet this was postponed when Naughty Dog realized that the "vision of the team" had grown beyond its initial expectations.

It was subsequently announced that Factions would be launching separately at a later date. The official announcement read: "You will eventually experience the fruits of our team's online ambition, but not as of The Last of Us Part II".

An update regarding multiplayer: pic.twitter.com/CUd98LgJGC

— Naughty Dog (@Naughty_Dog) September 27, 2019

Naughty Dog Provides New Update on Factions Multiplayer

The Last of Us Part II was released all the way back in June 2020 and since then there has been total radio silence on the progress being made with Factions.

Fans have been able to infer that the online mode is still in the works, as Naughty Dog has posted several job listings for multiplayer-related roles over the past few months. While it has been indicated that the successful applicants will be working on a "standalone multiplayer game," there has been no explicit confirmation that this is a reference to Factions.

The first official acknowledgement that The Last of Us multiplayer is on the horizon came during Sunday's Last of Us Day celebration. The news was delivered by a member of Naughty Dog's communications team, Rochelle Snyder, who authored a community update post on the subject.

Reflecting on the immense success of The Last of Us Part II, Snyder wrote: "[It] is now the most awarded game of all time—an accomplishment of which we are continually proud and understand is due in large part to the incredible fan base we have. We are continually in awe of the support you provide and please know that our team reads the fan letters, marvels over the art you make, and is moved by the heart you all bring to re-creating a slice of The Last of Us in your own world."

The update then continued by asking the burning question that was on everybody's lips: "Yeah, that's lovely and great Naughty Dog, but what are you doing with The Last of Us right now?"

According to the post, those aforementioned job listings are indeed related to Factions and a team is being established to focus specifically on this standalone product.

It reads: "In short, we're working on it—we see the community comments as many of you clamor for multiplayer and want update. For now, we'll say that we love what the team is developing and want to give them time to build out their ambitious project, we'll reveal more when it's ready!"

It ends with an appeal for appeal for qualified applicants to join the team, saying: "We've been busy growing our team inside the kennel since The Last of Us Part II launched and are currently in full swing of hiring for MP-related positions (hint hint), so if you or somebody you know qualifies for anything you see on our jobs page, apply!"

To summarize, Factions is still being worked on by Naughty Dog as a standalone release. From the sounds of things, it is also going to be far more ambitious than many expected, given that it has apparently necessitated such an extensive recruitment drive.

The Last of Us Part II is available now on PS4.

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