Following the massive The Last of Us Part II leaks making the rounds on social media over the course of the past couple of days, Sony announced yesterday a brand new release date for Naughty Dog's highly-anticipated action-adventure.
Sony has confirmed that the game will now release on June 19, or at least that's the plan right now.
The Last of Us Part II has suffered successive delays. First announced for February of this year, it was then pushed back to May 29 before being delayed indefinitely last month due to logistical hurdles.
These hurdles were reportedly linked to the difficulty in coordinating distribution channels to ensure physical copies of the game reached distributors in time for the late May release. As has become all too common in recent months, Sony pointed to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic as the source of these difficulties.
Head of SIE Worldwide Studios, Hermen Hulst, explained as much in a PlayStation.Blog article sharing the news.
Hulst writes: "As our teams at Sony Interactive Entertainment and Worldwide Studios approach development milestones and confront a world changed by COVID-19, we find ourselves having to adapt to today's ever-changing environment. Amidst some disruptions to our working styles, we wanted to provide an update to PlayStation gamers who are eager to learn when our next exclusive titles will arrive to PlayStation 4."
Alongside The Last of Us Part II news, Sony also revealed that this summer's other PlayStation 4 exclusive, Ghost of Tsushima, will now release on July 17 to make way for Naughty Dog's title. The Last of Us Part II will now release in Ghost of Tsushima's erstwhile spot on Sony's summer bill. The shift confirms speculation that Sony would prioritize the release of The Last of Us Part II over Ghost of Tsushima.
Ghost of Tsushima developer, Sucker Punch Productions, echoed the news on Twitter explaining that the studio would put extra time afforded by the date shift to good use to apply finishing touches to the game and fix last-minute bugs.
If The Last of Us Part II's troubled release history is anything to go by, this may not be the last time we hear of issues launching the game. With the pandemic forecast to impact the world for months to come, we can't discount yet another delay.