The Last of Us Factions might be tentpole in Sony’s live-service plans

By Lee Brady,

The Last of Us Factions, the upcoming PS5 multiplayer spin-off from Naughty Dog, might see Sony taking a more aggressive stance on its live-service plans as the game is rumoured to be free-to-play.

A job listing for The Last of Us Factions — a new, updated, standalone version of the multiplayer mode from the original The Last of Us — suggests that the game might be going free-to-play. If true, this would mark an important shift in Sony's live-service plans, as it means The Last of Us Factions might be Sony's first in a wave of free-to-play live-service games on consoles.

The Last of Us FactionsSony eyeing up the green.

The Last of Us Factions rumoured to be free-to-play

The free-to-play rumours for The Last of Us Factions come via Insider Gaming, who spotted a new job listing on Naughty Dog's website that makes hints at the shift in price model. In the job's 'bonus skills' section, the posting is asking applicants for "proven experience in a production role supporting a AAA, free to play, live title."

We could presume that Factions was going to be a PlayStation Studios title, given how it is a modern online multiplayer game and also seeing as Sony had previously announced ten new live-service games were currently in the works and expected to launch before 2026. What's interesting is that, until now, Sony has yet to adopt the free-to-play model for one of its live-service titles, and should Factions wrap up first, that would make it the first PlayStation Studios release on consoles to do so.

The Last of Us FactionsSony cracking the safe on PS5 player wallets.

So far, aside from making its own live-service game, we know that Bungie is working alongside the PlayStation Studios to help Sony with its live-service plans. We also know that Sony definitely considers MLB The Show 22 its first big live-service output, with the only other contenders that are potentially in the running being Gran Turismo 7 and Destruction All-Stars. All three of these titles are sold regularly at retail, so Sony has yet to make a concerted push into the free-to-play market on PS5.

We're sure even if Factions does become Sony's first tentpole free-to-play live-service game on console, there'll be more like it — although mercifully we'll still be getting a full AAA game from Naughty Dog as its next game is already in development. We here at TT loved the original Factions and are definitely hoping the standalone update makes our best free PS5 games list, but we won't pretend we're more excited about that than a new AAA Naughty Dog game. Let us know in the comments what your thoughts on Factions going free-to-play are, and let us know where you're sitting with Sony's live-service strategy.
Lee Brady
Written by Lee Brady
Staff Writer Lee keeps one eye on the future (Astro Bot), one eye on the past (PS1, PS2, and PS3 games), and his secret third eye on junk he really likes (Final Fantasy, Kingdom Hearts, Sonic). A PlayStation fan for over 25 years, he loves replaying classic games via PS Plus.
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