It seems that Naughty Dog’s 2013 horror/drama The Last of Us is getting a remake for the Playstation 5. However, this seems to come at the expense of the peace within the web of studios under Sony’s belt.
In a recent announcement, it was revealed that Naughty Dog will be remaking The Last of Us, their 2013 smash hit about two people trying to survive in a post-apocalyptic America. But apparently, this was not always the case, as a remake of the game originally got pitched by the Visual Arts Service Group.
Founded in 2007 by Michael Mumbauer, the Visual Arts Service Group (which will be referred to as the VASG from here on out) is a small Playstation-owned studio that often works as a support team on various big games, such as 2020’s The Last of Us Part II, and 2018’s God of War. It was however revealed that the studio wanted to move into proper game development, starting with a remake of Naughty Dog’s swashbuckling third-person shooter Uncharted. But when considering the challenges of overhauling a seventh-generation title, they ultimately decided against it, instead, setting their sights on something a bit newer in the form of the aforementioned The Last of Us.
These plans had to be put on hold when most of the studio was brought in to help out on The Last of Us Part II. Things got even less optimistic for the VASG afterwards when people from Naughty Dog came on board to work on The Last of Us remake. Then slowly but surely, the VASG lost their grasp of the project, and it eventually ended up with Naughty Dog. VASG founder Michael Mumbauer, and the remake’s original director David Hall have departed the project, and most remaining VASG staff will be doing support work for Naughty Dog on the game.
With Sony and Playstation pivoting towards big studios and a focus on AAA development, it is hard to tell what the future holds for smaller studios like the Visual Arts Service Group.
At the time of writing, The Last of Us Playstation 5 remake is in development, with no estimated release date.