‘The Last Of Us Part II’ changes tack for May 2020 release

In the upcoming 'The Last Of Us Part II', players control Ellie rather than Joel. — Naughty Dog/Sony Interactive Entertainment

Once anticipated for February 2020, prestige PlayStation 4 game The Last Of Us Part II will instead debut in May, in order to achieve "the highest level of quality" while also reducing stress on the studio's staff.

PlayStation's highly anticipated action adventure The Last Of Us Part II is being released in May 2020 rather than February.

It's perhaps the console brand's most high-profile exclusive (alongside November debut Death Stranding) and a wave of September publicity was enthusiastically received.

The game's studio, Naughty Dog, is well known for its commitment to glossy presentation, gripping story, believable characters and spectacular action.

As a result, The Last Of Us Part II is being put back so as to "bring the entire game up to a level of polish we would call Naughty Dog quality", director Neil Druckmann explained in an announcement carried by the official PlayStation blog.

"We were faced with two options: compromise parts of the game or get more time. We went with the latter," he said.

"This new release date allows us to finish everything to our level of satisfaction while also reducing stress on the team," he continued, referencing industry-wide concerns about the personal costs of video game development and intense, extended periods of deadline-related work.

Released in 2013 for the PlayStation 3, The Last Of Us sent gruff pandemic survivor Joel and the orphaned teenager he is protecting, Ellie, across an overgrown USA ravaged by infection.

It was received as one of the best games of all time, with prequel The Last Of Us: Left Behind debuting the following year and bundled with the remastered original on PlayStation 4 later in 2014.

The same strategy might also apply to The Last Of Us Part II, which has players control Ellie rather than Joel, especially with a PlayStation 4 release moving even closer to PlayStation 5's launch in late 2020.

The move to May 29 means that PlayStation 4 fans no longer need to hurry through The Last Of Us Part II in order to clear time for Final Fantasy VII Remake in early March.

However, by moving to May 29, The Last Of Us Part II will now need to pry players away from April's Cyberpunk 2077, releasing across PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC, and likewise generating its own gravitational pull among game enthusiasts; earlier May release Marvel's Avengers builds on the name recognition of the highest-grossing movie franchise of all time. – AFP Relaxnews

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