Be warned: If you are patiently waiting for The Last of Us II, be careful when scrolling through your social media accounts unless you don't mind major spoilers. Footage of a late build of the game surfaced on YouTube over the weekend that reveals crucial plot points that could ruin the story for you.
Update (04/28/20): Naughty Dog has responded to the leaked video confirming that it is, in fact, development footage. The studio expressed its regrets in a statement via Twitter.
"We know the last few days have been incredibly difficult for you. We feel the same. It's disappointing to see the release and sharing of pre-release footage from development. Do your best to avoid spoilers and we ask that you don't spoil it for others. The Last of Us Part II will be in your hands soon. No matter what you see and hear, the final experience will be worth it."
Newsweek reports, an angry Naughty Dog employee uploaded some video that includes gameplay and cutscenes for the indefinitely delayed The Last of Us II. Don't worry. We will not spoil anything here. We will not even link to the footage. You can watch the trailer below again instead, but if you must, you can easily find it on a YouTube search.
The account that posted the video was quickly closed, but numerous other channels were able to grab it and re-upload it, creating the perfect spoiler storm that has bled over to Facebook and Twitter. Be aware that many of the plot twists and even the ending of the game are now known.
The video could be an elaborate hoax. However, debugging data listed on the lower left-hand corner of the footage, which includes level names and other information, looks convincing. If it is from the studio, Naughty Dog cannot be pleased. The game has already struggled and stalled in development due to the coronavirus outbreak. A leak is the last thing the developer needs on such a highly anticipated big-name sequel.
In February, we reported that developers were putting the final finishing touches on the game to have it ready for its already postponed May 29 release date. Then earlier this month, Naughty Dog announced that it had to indefinitely postpone the game's launch because of "logistics beyond our control."
It mentioned that it wanted everyone to get to play the game at the same time, alluding to possible shipping restrictions in some countries imposed by the virus scare. Wanting everyone to play at the same time also indicated that the studio wanted to avoid the potential for spoilers as much as possible. Shortly after that, Sony pulled the title from the PlayStation Store and issued refunds to those with pre-orders.
While looking into this leak, we heard rumors TLoUII would be launching in June. Sony confirmed this in a blog post this morning. The sequel is now slated for June 19. Another delayed game, Ghost of Tsushima, is coming shortly after on July 17.
So those trying to avoid spoilers, you only have to be wary for about eight more weeks. Good luck.