The Last of Us 2 multiplayer mode could be a battle royale instead of an enhanced Factions.
New information from dataminer Speclizer (thanks Video Games Chronicle), the same person who found the kill Tommy glitch, points to a number of assets intended for the game's standalone multiplayer version, including maps.
Speclizer said assets for Adler Park and Port of Camallito, among others, would have been combined to create an area that could support battle royale matches.
While that's not evidence of the mode type in itself, they also said unused assets for a compass and player count also existed in the game's files, "which is usually only used in battle royales."
The Last of Us 2 Multiplayer Could Be a Battle Royale
Speclizer reported finding assets for multiplayer cosmetics that they couldn't restore, in addition to features such as "collar" that could point to new mechanics designed for the mode.
Of course, all this is technically rumor and speculation until Naughty Dog says otherwise, and there's no indication of when that might be.
The Last of Us developer has remained completely silent on the subject of a new Factions or Factions-adjacent mode since The Last of Us 2 released in June 2020.
A new update could happen during an upcoming PlayStation event, but with COVID-19 affecting nearly every aspect of game development across the industry, both the long-rumored event and Last of Us 2 multiplayer mode could be a ways away.