Naughty Dog Changes The Last of Us’ Outbreak Day Name, Will Have Announcements This Weekend

Naughty Dog has celebrated its Last of Us fan community via Outbreak Day in the real world, tying it to a major event in The Last of Us’ lore. But given the COVID-19 pandemic this year, the Uncharted developer has decided to change the name for 2020 and beyond.Announced via Twitter, Naughty Dog confirmed that its usual September 26 celebration of The Last of Us and its fandom will now be known as The Last of Us Day. The studio does have plans for this first rebranded celebration of the series, so stay tuned this weekend for more.Previously, the developers used the term “Outbreak Day” as a reference to the in-fiction day when the Cordyceps virus reached mass infection. Naughty Dog explained that, in thinking about “the events of the last year and the challenges we all continue to face with COVID-19,” it didn’t make sense to keep using the same naming convention, especially for a day meant to show “our appreciation for our fans.”

Naughty Dog’s full statement reads:

“For the last 7 years, September 26 has been our opportunity to recognize and celebrate the increasing passion of The Last of Us community. However, as we thought about the events of the last year and the challenges we all continue to face with COVID-19, we didn’t feel right continuing on under the ‘Outbreak Day’ banner. While the name and date are rotted in the fiction of the game, September 26 means so much more than lore. It’s about showing our appreciation for our fans.

“That’s why, this Saturday and moving forward, September 26 will be known as The Last of Us Day – a name that not only acknowledges the world around us, but also reflects the growth of the community as we welcome millions of new players with the release of The last of Us Part II. We have a lot of exciting things planned and we can’t wait to share them with you in just a few days!”

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Past celebrations have included last year’s The Last of Us Part 2 line of merch and early The Last of Us Part 2 posters and t-shirts in 2017 following its 2016 reveal.

This will be the first celebration since The Last of Us Part 2 was released on PS4 earlier this year, debuting to huge sales success in its launch month. For more on the sequel, be sure to check out our The Last of Us Part 2 review, and our interview with Neil Druckmann and Halley Gross of Naughty Dog about the making of the sequel.

Jonathon Dornbush is IGN’s Senior News Editor, host of Podcast Beyond!, and PlayStation lead. Talk to him on Twitter @jmdornbush.

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