The bad news is that The Last of Us Part 1 (opens in new tab) on PC, which had been set to launch on March 3, is delayed. The good news is that the delay is brief as these things go, just a few weeks, and it's now set to come out on March 28.
The delay, believe it or not, was apparently prompted at least in part by the popularity of the HBO show (opens in new tab), which has brought the game back into pop culture prominence and exposed it to a whole new audience.
"Hearing your love for the HBO adaptation, seeing your beautiful Photo Mode shots, and learning about how the world and characters our studio created nearly a decade ago continue to reach new and old fans alike floors us every day," Naughty Dog said. "We know a lot of you have been revisiting the story that started it all with The Last of Us Part 1 on PlayStation 5 console, and we realize that many of you have been excited to jump in—some for the first time—when Part 1 hits PC.
"And so we want to make sure that The Last of Us Part 1 PC debut is in the best shape possible. The additional few weeks will allow us to ensure this version of The Last of Us lives up to your, and our, standards. We are so excited to bring The Last of Us Part 1 to a new platform, reaching new and returning players with Joel and Ellie's unforgettable story of survival, and we hope that you'll continue to look forward to its PC release on March 28."
It's a weird statement, right? It's one thing for a team to say it needs more time than it anticipated to get things right, but something else entirely to imply that they were ready to gun this thing out the door in whatever half-assed shape they could smack it into until the TV show became a hit. I can't decide if this is pure cynicism or brutal honesty: Is Naughty Dog camouflaging development headaches in a warm cloak of boundless love for the fans, or just admitting that it's only really going hard because everyone is paying attention?
There is a third possibility, and this is what I'm hoping for: After seeing the massive success of episode 3 of the HBO show, which went deep into the relationship between Bill and Frank (opens in new tab) (something the game doesn't explore), Naughty Dog is expanding the narrative to embrace their story as canon. I know, three weeks isn't enough time to make big, meaningful changes, but I think it should happen and so I'm putting it out there.(opens in new tab)
Whatever the case, March 28 is now the big day. The Last of Us on PC is available for pre-purchase now on Steam (opens in new tab) and the Epic Games Store (opens in new tab), both of which currently still indicate a March 3 release date.