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The Last Of Us Creator Reveals More Unmade Prequel Plans

After the first game's widespread acclaim, a sequel that won Game of the Year, and now one of HBO's most successful adaptations, "The Last of Us" has transformed into a behemoth of a franchise. But despite being one of the biggest gaming series ever made, or at least of the last decade, that's all that makes up "The Last of Us" — a show and two games. The narrative style and stories of the series are what really set it apart in the first place, and fans know that it goes a lot deeper than just your typical zombie apocalypse scenario. But there are still unanswered questions, parts of the world's history yet unseen. 

Fans have wondered what future entries in "The Last of Us" might look like ever since the critically acclaimed — but divisive — "Part 2" came out back in 2020. But instead of going beyond the events of the sequel, it appears that the next game was once going to explore what the world looked like before the end of the world, or at least before Joel and Ellie's time. 

Series creator Neil Druckmann went on Kinda Funny's "The Last of Us" Spoilercast on March 13, 2023 and revealed that a sort of prequel to "The Last of Us" was actually once in the works. Interestingly, it wouldn't have been developed by Naughty Dog, but by another unnamed studio, and it appears that the story was ready to be turned into a game before the project fell apart.

Spoiler warning for the opening scene of HBO's "The Last of Us" finale

A Last of Us prequel might have filled in the gaps by going back in time

On the podcast, Neil Druckmann responded to a variety of questions about "The Last of Us" games and HBO show following its finale last Sunday. Druckmann was asked about the opening scene to the ninth episode, in which Ellie's voice actor Ashley Johnson plays her mother as she gives birth after being bitten by one of the infected. "There was a much more full version of the story that went back in time," Druckmann said. It's possible this game's expanded story inspired the finale's opening.

Druckmann then went on to describe how the story was eventually going to be fully developed into a game by a different game studio — a studio he was actually introduced to by Kinda Funny's own Greg Miller. This indicates that the unnamed prequel may have been different from the main two entries, but the project didn't get very far despite its more full story. "That was going to be made into a video game... and then it just kind of fell apart and didn't quite work out," Druckmann said. 

Druckmann didn't say too much else about the project, or what the reason for the "Last of Us" prequel being shelved exactly was. Greg Miller joked that it would have been a great opportunity for him, and that he should have been the one to receive accolades if the game ended up being good for introducing Druckmann to the studio. Sadly for Miller, it might be a little while yet before he can claim that fame.