As you well know this week a report by the well-known Bloomberg journalist emerged, Jason Schreier, which would reveal not only the intention on the part of Sony to abandon minor projects (such as a possible Days Gone 2), but to devote all his efforts to more profitable franchises. Thus the idea of creating a remake of the first The Last of Us.
According to reports from Schreier, the remake of the first chapter of the adventure of Joel and Ellie (codenamed T1X) would start her development at first with the Visual Arts Service Group from Sony Interactive Entertainment, which usually helps polish games created by other Sony in-house studios, but in 2018 the team became a main studio.
Given the change of course, the software house has decided to recruit 30 new employees (from internal and external teams of the Japanese giant) with the initial aim of creating a remake of Uncharted: Drake's Fortune, a project abandoned because it was considered too expensive. Hence the idea of making the remake of the first The Last of Us (with a final rendering very similar to The Last of Us Part 2), since the latter was more recent than the first chapter starring Nathan Drake ( released on PS3 in 2007) and needed a less expensive budget.
Although the project was initially approved by the Japanese company, Hermen Hulst (former general manager, co-founder of Guerrilla Games) after being appointed by the company boss of Worldwide Studios, he thought the latter was too expensive, also because he would have exploited a brand new game engine (becoming the most expensive Sony remake ever).
Unfortunately, also given Hulst's partial conviction on the feasibility of the project, the guys from Visual Arts Service Group were asked to help N (since The Last of Us Part 2 had been postponed from 2019 to 2020), slowing the progress of the remake accordingly.
After completing the work with TLoU2, Sony has decided to resize (again) the role of Visual Arts, inviting the guys from the Californian software house not only to support the team for the realization of the T1X project, but to personally take care of the remaking of the first The Last of Us, since the study of N has a higher budget (and greater room for maneuver).
According to information that emerged from Jason Schreier's report, Sony's decision to entrust the remake to Naughty Dog has created several internal discontent within the studio, causing the dismissal of several members, including Mumbauer and the game director David Hall. To date, it seems that the T1X project has remained in development at the Californian software house, which would promptly count on the support of what remains of the Visual Arts Service Group.