Just a few weeks ago, gamers everywhere despaired when it was announced that, due to complications related to the novel coronavirus pandemic, Naughty Dog's The Last of Us Part II had been delayed indefinitely. The highly-anticipated title, the sequel to 2013's The Last of Us, had been initially scheduled to release on May 29. It combines action-adventure and survival horror gameplay, as players take on the role of skilled, determined Ellie as she journeys through post-apocalyptic America.
Today, an updated release date was officially announced on the PlayStation blog. The Last of Us Part II will be coming to PlayStation 4 on June 19, only a few weeks shy of its originally announced date.
Previously, it had been announced that players who had pre-purchased The Last of Us Part II would receive a full refund. Many players report not having yet received this refund. The PlayStation Blog's post did not include any information regarding how refunds will be handled now that the game is officially back on.
Plot details and gameplay videos were unfortunately leaked on the Internet over the past weekend. The source of these leaks has not been conclusively identified, and it is speculated to be a disgruntled former Sony staffer. Last of Us fans are encouraged to be careful when browsing to avoid accidentally encountering leaked information.
Were the leaks responsible for Sony and Naughty Dog's decision to give the game official release date? Was the entire leak an attempt to "force Sony's hand" and expedite the game's debut? Nothing is currently known for sure, but it is not difficult to believe that the leaked information might have played a role in this decision.
Additionally, the post announced an updated release date for Sucker Punch Productions' open-world samurai adventure, Ghosts of Tsushima. Initially scheduled for June 26, Ghosts of Tsushima will now debut on the PlayStation 4 on July 17. While this announcement has received little attention due to the controversy surrounding The Last of Us Part II, fans of sprawling game worlds and Japanese history alike should be quite excited about this upcoming release.
Other PlayStation titles, including Iron Man VR, remain indefinitely delayed. Hopefully, Sony will provide more information regarding these releases soon.
Naughty Dog and Sucker Punch staffers have had to adapt to a work from home environment and stressful global situation very late in their titles' development. To see release dates with such minimal delay is genuinely an impressive accomplishment.