[UPDATE] In a tweet, Neil Druckmann clarified that he was referring to an increasingly collaborative creative process behind the narrative, thus more akin to a so-called writers' room.
[ORIGINAL STORY] Naughty Dog co-president Neil Druckmann was featured in a recent interview published on The New Yorker's website. The chat mainly focused on the upcoming HBO TV series adapted from The Last of Us, which Druckmann has co-written, co-created, and co-executive produced with Craig Mazin. The first season of nine episodes will begin airing on January 15th. This will be a direct adaptation of the first game, although there will be some deviations.
For gamers, the most interesting tidbit from the interview came at the very end. Druckmann apparently told the interviewer that his next game project would be structured a lot more like a TV show than anything else Naughty Dog has made thus far. It's an interesting statement because the studio based in Santa Monica has already been making cinematic games ever since Uncharted on the PlayStation 3. In fact, it could be argued that the first The Last of Us is already quite close to a TV series regarding its narrative, which certainly helped with the adaptation. The only further step toward TV shows would be to release this new game in actual episodes, though it's never been done before in such high-profile triple-A releases.
Just a couple of weeks ago, movie leaker ViewerAnon said that Druckmann's next game is indeed The Last of Us Part III. To make that an episodic release would be a significant change compared to the first two installments, that's for sure. Naughty Dog is also known to be working on the long-awaited standalone The Last of Us multiplayer game. In June, Druckmann spoke briefly about it, saying it would feature a 'full story' told in a 'unique way' through a new cast of characters. However, this project is known to be led by Vinit Argawal and Anthony Newman, so it's unlikely Druckmann was referring to it when talking about his next game.
By the way, The Last of Us Part I remake lands on PC on March 3rd, 2023.