With The Last of Us Part 2’s new release date, Druckmann’s video message addressed the status of the game, noting its “gold” status — meaning discs can be pressed for physical release and the digital release can be prepped as well. Of course, if you’ve followed games going gold in the past, they’re often accompanied by team photos with the development teams gathering together to celebrate. Druckmann noted how this can’t be the case at the moment.
“We wanted to let you know that we have gone gold. So back in April, we told you that due to the state of the world, logistics way beyond our control, we had to push the game, which gave us a few extra weeks to polish and now that we have a release date we submitted our gold master,” he said.
“And you’re going to have our game in just a few short weeks. Normally this would be a moment of celebration. We’d be at the office having a drink, eating cake. But we’re all stuck in our homes and I want to take this moment to congratulate the team that has pulled off the most ambitious game we’ve ever made.”
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Druckmann celebrated the full team’s work in the long-awaited sequel, and went on to explain that, while The Last of Us Part 2’s leaks may have revealed parts of the story, “nothing compares” to playing the sequel in full. The rest of his statement reads:
“I know I’ve said this before, but you won’t know to what degree until you get your hands on it and just see the care, the care that has gone into every detail, from the level design, the mechanics, just graphically how the game looks, the environments, art direction, characters, story, the audio design, the soundtrack, oh my god the soundtrack is so amazing. Even for us, who have played this game, we can’t even count how many times, we know it inside out, we’re still emotionally moved]. I just finished a playthrough and I was crying by the end of it. And it’s just pretty incredible, and I’m extremely proud of it, the team is extremely proud of it, and we can’t wait to hear what you guys think.
“On behalf of Naughty Dog, thank you to you guys. You’ve been very patient waiting for this game for years with us, and you’re just a few weeks away from getting it. A lot of you have sent us sweet and encouraging messages along that time that have been really helpful. No matter what you’ve seen or heard or read, nothing compares to playing this game from beginning to end. It’s a video game, you’ve got to play it. I hope you guys are doing well. Stay safe, take care of your loved ones, and we’ll have a lot more for you soon.”
On the topic of those leaks, PlayStation recently confirmed it identified the Last of Us Part 2 leakers, and that those individuals were not affiliated with Sony Interactive Entertainment or Naughty Dog. The leaks came just as Sony announced The Last of Us 2’s new release date (alongside a new date for Ghost of Tsushima) of June 19. More information about the leak has allegedly revealed how aspects of The Last of Us 2 were taken in the first place, though Sony has not officially commented on the methods.
For more on The Last of Us Part 2, find out about its PS4 hard drive minimum required space, Druckmann’s initial thoughts about the Last of Us 2 delay, and a report of how The Last of Us 2’s delay allegedly led to sustained crunch.
And, be sure to check out our hands-on preview with The Last of Us Part 2 to find out more about the game, including why The Last of Us 2 isn’t open world, and how dogs will affect The Last of Us 2’s combat.
Jonathon Dornbush is IGN’s Senior News Editor and host of Podcast Beyond!, IGN’s weekly PlayStation show.