In a surprising, but not surprising turn of events, The Last of Us Part II was delayed from February 21, 2020 until May 29, 2020.
This was revealed by Neil Druckmann in a post on the PlayStation Blog:
To our fans,
Let me cut to the chase and get the news out of the way. The Last of Us Part II has a new release date of May 29, 2020.
I know. It was just about a month ago when we had our big blowout for the game, letting media play over two hours of it along with debuting our new story trailer and revealing the release date. The positive response we saw from our community was overwhelming. You can feel the energy among the team members. After working on something for so many years, it’s invigorating to get a glimpse of validation for all the hard work.
However, it was during the last few weeks, as we were closing out sections of the game, that we realized we simply didn’t have enough time to bring the entire game up to a level of polish we would call Naughty Dog quality. At this point we were faced with two options: compromise parts of the game or get more time. We went with the latter, and this new release date allows us to finish everything to our level of satisfaction while also reducing stress on the team.
While we’re relieved that we won’t have to compromise our vision, we’re disappointed that we weren’t able to avoid this exact situation. We wish we could’ve foreseen the amount of polish we needed, but the size and scope of this game got the better of us. We hate disappointing our fans and for that we’re sorry.
We hope you understand that this additional time ensures that The Last of Us Part II lives up to our collective ambition as well as our commitment to the highest level of quality. We know the extra few months will add to what may already be an excruciating wait for all of us. We are grateful for your patience and continued support. Come next May, you will finally rejoin Ellie in The Last of Us Part II.
-NeilNeil Druckmann via PlayStation Blog
Despite claims of there needing to be more polish, it could simply be due to the already stacked nature of that time. Just looking at major releases there are Iron Man VR, Watch Dogs Legion, Final Fantasy VII, Doom Eternal, and Cyberpunk 2077. While Iron Man VR will probably not be a big deal and I have no doubt The Last of Us Part II would stand out even among these, there was probably some legitimate concerns about polish and it was ultimately delayed to a time when there was less going on. Though, regardless of why, we will have to wait for May 29, 2020 to see how this adventure continues.