Naughty Dog creative director Neil Druckmann has announced that the long-anticipated sequel, The Last of Us Part 2, has gone gold. For those not in the know, going gold is a special term that’s applied to a creative work when it’s ready to be printed. It harkens back to when discs used to be pressed from gold masters. The production process for discs has changed a fair bit in that time, although the parlance stuck around.
Druckmann announced the change in status on Instagram saying, “Back in April we told you that due to the state of the world, logistics way beyond our control, we had to push the game, which gave us a few extra weeks to polish and now that we have a release date we have submitted our gold master,” he said.
“Normally, this would be a moment of celebration, we’d be at the office having a drink, eating cake,” said the director on the project. “I just want to take this moment to congratulate the team that has pulled off the most ambitious game we’ve ever made. I know I’ve said this before but you won’t know to what degree until you get your hands on it and just see the care that has gone into every detail from the level design, the mechanics, graphically how the game looks, environments, art direction, characters, story, the audio design, the soundtrack—oh my god, the soundtrack is so amazing.”
The Last of Us Part 2 has been plagued with problems for a while now. The game was delayed indefinitely after a period of long crunch and potentially years worth of work by a dedicated Naughty Dog team with support from Sony. All that work was hit with further bad news when major leaks appeared online.
It appears that hackers had stolen pre-release footage and other data from internal servers, exploiting a flaw in a game update from Naughty Dog to gain access. This leak led to the release of the full story and a massive wave of spoilers and speculation across the web. Many reacted with scorn and disbelief. Naughty Dog said in a statement that “It’s disappointing to see the release and sharing of pre-release footage from development.”
Those who haven’t been spoiled have around a month to wait. The Last of Us Part 2 will launch on June 19 on PlayStation 4.