My Thoughts on The Last of Us Part II Being Delayed Indefinitely:
Read Between the Lines
Today Sony announced in a tweet that the release of The Last of Us Part II (and Iron Man VR) is delayed due to the global crisis, but to see the words “delayed indefinitely” was quite shocking, Usually delays are coupled with a new release date or a ballpark release window, but since Sony didn’t announce a new release date it raised a few alarm bells, at least to me.
Update: SIE has made the difficult decision to delay the launch of The Last of Us Part II and Marvel’s Iron Man VR until further notice. Logistically, the global crisis is preventing us from providing the launch experience our players deserve.
— PlayStation (@PlayStation) April 2, 2020
Ghost of Tsushima Mysteriously Not Delayed (Release Date June 26)
The Last of Us Part II is not the only major Sony game set to be released this year, as Ghost of Tsushima, set to be released on June 26, is another highly anticipated title that is likely to do very well due to the beautiful trailers shown and the open world aspect of the game we now know. It’s extremely curious that Ghost of Tsushima was not delayed because that means Sony believes they can still deliver that game on June 26.
So why not just move The Last of Us Part II to June and push back Ghost of Tsushima so they don’t overlap? This brings me back to the “delayed indefinitely” portion of the statement, followed by the very vague statement of “Logistically, the global crisis is preventing us from providing the launch experience our players deserve.” If the issue is production and physical copies shipping, what is stopping Sony from just outright saying that publicly in their statement? It would be understandable, reasonable, and not embarrassing at all. The statement from Sony is way too vague. What is the critical difference keeping Ghost of Tsushima on track, but not The Last of Us Part II? Additionally, if Ghost of Tsushima is fine for June, then why can’t The Last of Us Part II be fine for June or even July?
A message from us about the delay of The Last of Us Part II: pic.twitter.com/aGsSRfmJ8a
— Naughty Dog (@Naughty_Dog) April 2, 2020
Naughy Dog’s statement above is slightly more specific citing “logistics beyond our control,” but still very vague. Logistics like Covid-19 being uncontrollable beyond their control? Shipping? The statement does also say, “We want to make sure everyone gets to play The Last of Us II around the same time, ensuring that we’re doing everything possible to preserve the best experience for everyone.” This is yet another vague statement that doesn’t cite shipping, but my most charitable guess is this may imply wanting to keep the story under wraps for certain regions facing a delay so they don’t get spoiled.
Look, all games get delayed and I’m not someone that gets uptight over a delay if it means a more finished game with no bugs. Square Enix came out and outright said there may be delays delivering physical copies of Final Fantasy 7 Remake. The vagueness of the Sony statement and slightly less vague Naughty Dog statement, coupled with the words “delayed indefinitely” makes be believe they are just uncomfortable releasing The Last of Us Part II due to part of the game’s plot, an incurable virus (Cordyceps). There’s no shame in having a heart thinking it’s not appropriate to release the game while Covid-19 is ravaging the world. Was Sony just implying they want the players to enjoy the The Last of Us Part II experience without having Covid-19 on their mind, which would explain why the game is “delayed indefinitely” because we don’t know when Covid-19 will subside.
This wouldn’t be without some precedent because the Epic Games Store felt pressured enough to pull the Pandemic game giveaway in February.
I’m always open to being wrong and maybe this delay is just about shipping or production, but if that’s the case, then why be cagey about it?