Naughty Dog renames Outbreak Day to The Last of Us Day citing COVID-19

Outside of Mass Effect, few games have dates dedicated to them. The Last of Us is one of those titles immortalized in the calendar, as September 26 marks Outbreak Day, the ill-fated day the cordyceps fungus reached critical mass in Ellie and Joel’s dreary world. Naughty Dog has celebrated that date every year since 2014, but 2020’s Outbreak Day is going to be a little different, despite following the release of The Last of Us 2.

The Last of Us and Uncharted developer announced on Twitter that it would be forever changing the name of the day to The Last of Us Day for reasons that are quite obvious. Given the current COVID-19 pandemic, the studio said it didn’t feel like going ahead with something that feels oddly prescient and all too real. According to the tweet, the name change also welcomes in new players that found the series through its sequel.

Naughty Dog didn’t divulge what it is doing to celebrate this The Last of Us Day. After getting (mostly) rave reviews for The Last of Us 2, the acclaimed team has added in cheats and some new difficulty settings, but not much else. Creative Director Neil Druckmann did say that the game was not getting any DLC so it probably wouldn’t be wise to expect some big expansion. We could perhaps get a tease about its (likely separate) multiplayer mode, but that might be some wishful thinking.

In the past, Naughty Dog has held a photo mode contest, sold a Clicker statue, created a beautiful Mondo poster of Ellie’s arm, another of Abby’s arm, a vinyl of the original’s soundtrack, and some themes, shirts, and PlayStation avatars. It remains to be seen if 2020 will hold something similar in size, but you can likely at least expect some more The Last of Us-inspired art.