A new release date for Naughty Dog’s much anticipated The Last of Us Part II has finally been revealed as June 19, but it looks to have been set at the expense of Sucker Punch Production’s Ghost of Tsushima, as that game is now releasing in July, according to the official Playstation Blog.
Both games have been in full production for some time, with The Last of Us Part II’s development has been marred with accusations that Naughty Dog has been engaging in intense crunch sessions with its teams. The game’s plot was leaked online today, revealing the fates of Joel and Ellie early.
The game previously had no release date due to production issues caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, but Sony appears to have made the decision to set a date for release regardless, just weeks after delaying from the previous May 29 release date. How much the leak has influenced the announcement of a release date is unknown, but the reaction would imply that Sony and Naughty Dog want to avoid any further potential information being leaked.
However, the new date for the game has caused a domino effect on Ghost of Tsushima, which was originally set for June 26. This now has been pushed back to July 17. While it could be that production required the extra time, it’s far more likely that Sony simply wants to stagger the releases further to allow for sales of both games to be maximized.
Both games are likely to be contenders for games of the year, but Sony’s reaction to leaks implies that they may have hit the panic button with the release dates for both games.