The Last of Us Prequel Game Was Nearly Made by a Studio Other Than Naughty Dog

A studio other than Naughty Dog at one point almost made a prequel game set before the events of The Last of Us. At this point in time, Naughty Dog has been the primary developer behind all projects tied to PlayStation's The Last of Us series. In addition to making the original game and its 2020 sequel, Naughty Dog also has helmed the various remasters and remakes that have come about and is also developing the multiplayer spin-off coming to PlayStation 5. And while many fans likely can't imagine a game associated with The Last of Us that wasn't made by Naughty Dog, things almost went in a much different direction a few years back. 

Speaking during a recent press conference prior to the season finale of HBO's The Last of Us, Naughty Dog co-president Neil Druckmann revealed that a prequel centered around Ellie's mother, Anna, was at one point drafted as a short story. Initially, Druckmann had the idea of making this story featuring Anna as an animated short. When that didn't work out, another game studio was then consulted to turn the story into a game. Druckmann said that this deal didn't come to be, though, which led to Anna's story eventually being told in Episode 9 of HBO's The Last of Us

"We were talking to another game company to potentially do it as a whole other game," Druckmann said of the project. "[But] that deal fell apart to tell that story."

Druckmann also went on to say that if this game would have become a reality, it would have revealed more details about Ellie's biological father, which is something that has never been touched on in The Last of Us video games and TV show. The story of this game would have then culminated in the scene featuring Ellie and her birth that was unveiled in the TV adaptation. Regarding Ellie's father, though, Druckmann said teased that there could be a chance of this story one day being unveiled in a new manner. 

"I will say there was some stuff written for the mom and the dad when we were talking to this other game studio to potentially do a whole Anna game. The climax, of which, was this scene," Druckmann said. "I'm reluctant to say anything about it because as I've now found out several times, stories that I think are failures and will never see the light of day sometimes see the light of day."

If this story about Ellie's mother and father does ever get told, Druckmann could have multiple avenues to do so. Not only has HBO greenlit a second season of The Last of Us on TV, but rumors have also continued to circle suggesting that Naughty Dog is developing The Last of Us Part 3 at this moment. Whether or not questions about Ellie's heritage will be answered in the future isn't yet known, but it's fascinating to know that Druckmann has been sitting on these story ideas for a prolonged period of time. 

What do you think about this potential idea for a prequel set in the world of The Last of Us? And how would you have felt about a company other than Naughty Dog making such a game? Be sure to let me know either down in the comments or hit me up on Twitter at @MooreMan12