The Release of the Last of Us Part II Put on Hold Due to Coronavirus

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Sony has made the decision to delay the release of one of its bestselling PlayStation titles due to the uncertainty brought about by the coronavirus. Previously scheduled for release on May 29, the Last of US Part II is the second installment in the action/adventure game that has stolen the hearts of so many players. The release of the long-awaited game has been postponed indefinitely due to the difficulties associated with providing the kind of launch experience envisioned by Sony amid the COVID-19 outbreak.  

The game’s developer, Naughty Dog, placed the blame for the delay squarely on the global disruptions caused by the pandemic. “We were faced with the reality that due to logistics beyond our control, we couldn’t launch The Last of Us Part II to our satisfaction,” Nughty Dog twitted. “We want to make sure everyone gets to play The Last of Us Part II around the same time, ensuring that we’re doing everything possible to preserve the best experience for everyone. This meant delaying the game until such a time where we can solve these logistic issues.”

For many gamers, the news could not have come at a worse time. Video game usage has grown exponentially amid the enforcement of social isolation. While most games these days are purchased via digital downloads, blockbuster games such as The Last of Us II still sell more copies in the traditional way. This could be due to discounts and pre-order offers extended by many stores. What we see now is that store closures and disruptions in the manufacturing process can still take their toll on the gaming industry.

“The Last of Us II, by all accounts and appearances, looks to be finished, so this is a commercial decision,” said Seth Barton, editor of the games industry publication MCV/Develop. “Bricks and mortar retail still makes up a considerable part of the sales mix, especially for the biggest titles, and with every Game Digital store in the UK and every GameStop in the US closed, launching a really big game right now is going to cost you. There’s also the possibility that the crisis has delayed production and shipping of high-margin collector’s editions of the game.”

Rhoda Clang from thegoodestate highlighted that the Last of Us Part II is not the first game to have been affected by the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic and it is unlikely to be the last. “Physical copies of Final Fantasy VII Remake have been shipped ‘earlier than usual’ to ensure that players get their hands on the product before its April 10 release date,” she said. “This begs the question of whether other big titles such as Cyberpunk 2077 and Ghost of Tsushima, scheduled for release this year, will also be affected.”

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