Every year since The Last of Us first released in 2013, Naughty Dog have been celebrating “Outbreak Day” on the 26th of September. It celebrates the series with particular focus on the fandom that surrounds it. This day has been picked as it was the day that the mutated cordyceps that started the virus in the series really sent the world of the game into turmoil.
Here lies the issue with the name. Back in 2013 and hell, even back in 2019, we didn’t have a deadly virus that was wrecking havoc IRL. Naughty Dog have become aware then that “Outbreak Day” is a problematic name. They addressed the issue in a tweet saying they don’t “feel right continuing on under the ‘Outbreak Day’ banner” due to the “challenges we all continue to face with COVID-19.”
— Naughty Dog (@Naughty_Dog) September 22, 2020
Therefore, Naughty Dog have changed the name to “The Last of Us Day.” This years especially the devs have a lot to celebrate, seeing as 2020 was the release of The Last of Us Part II. The release of this title has “welcome(d) millions of new players” who have fallen in love with the game and its lore.
Though Naughty Dog haven’t announced what the 26th of September 2020 will look like, we can look at last years’ events for some clues. Though a lot of the events were based around the hype for the sequel’s 2020 release, there were also give-aways, an Ellie cosplay guide and special game specific gear. Fans could also go into the running to win posters signed by the dev team and there were free “Outbreak day” PS4 themes.
This year however, there are rumors that the company will reveal a PS5 launch window for the sequel or information about its possible multiplayer mode, Factions. Either way fans will just have to wait a few more days to see what Naughty Dog has in store!