Naughty Dog may well be working on a new game, but it isn’t The Last of Us 3 as that game is not in active development right now. The developer’s co-president Neil Druckmann has confirmed the game is only in a concept stage, and doesn’t even have a story at the moment.
Most of the previous The Last of Us 3 rumors were false
Rumors started back in 2021 following an interview with Druckmann in which he said they had written a story that took place after The Last of Us Part II. Many assumed this to be the story for The Last of Us 3, but in a documentary detailing the making of the second game, Druckmann clarified this was actually a story that starred Tommy. This “was always a small story, it was never a full title,” and has currently been shelved alongside the prequel title that was set to focus on Ellie’s background and parents. It may even become a TV show in the future.
For now, The Last of Us 3 doesn’t have a story. However, Druckmann said “I do have that concept, that, to me, is as exciting as I, as exciting as II, is its own thing, yet has this through-line for all 3”.
The game is not in active development, although it will likely find its way into Naughty Dog’s future plans. If it doesn’t, The Last of Us Part II is “a fine ending point.”
Following the recent release of The Last of Us Part II: Remastered on PS5, Naughty Dog’s next game is still very much a mystery. The Last of Us Online has been canceled but work continues on another project by a different internal team that is likely to be a new IP. It definitely won’t be a new game in the Uncharted franchise seeing as Naughty Dog is “done” and “moving on” from the series.