Naughty Dog, the famed studio behind the critically acclaimed post-apocalyptic adventure The Last of Us and its 2020 sequel, has renamed Outbreak Day. From now on, it will be known as The Last of Us Day.
The decision comes in light of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the viral respiratory disease that has claimed more than 200,000 US lives. Given the nature of the outbreak, Naughty Dog said it didn’t feel right about the celebratory day being called Outbreak Day, especially in the context of current real-world conditions. As such, every September 26 will be called The Last of Us Day instead.
“For the last 7 years, September 26 has been our opportunity to recognize and celebrate the incredible passion of The Last of Us community,” Naughty Dog said in a statement. “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 rooted 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.”
In The Last of Us, September 26 is the day when the cordyceps brain infection–the parasitic fungal virus that attacks the brain and kills its host–reached critical mass and began spreading like wildfire. The infection hit Austin a day later, kicking off the events of the 2013 game.
Outbreak Day, now known as The Last of Us Day, is a celebratory day in which Naughty Dog unveils new The Last of Us content in the form of behind-the-scenes footage, limited-time PSN avatars, additional in-game content, exclusive merchandise, and more. Last year’s event included a look inside The Last of Us Part II demo, a Last of Us PSN sale, the chance to win a signed poster, and more.
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