The latest wave of layoffs at Naughty Dog will affect the art, production and quality assurance testing departments.
Naughty Dog, the studio behind The Last of Us and the Uncharted series, is the latest company to announce internal layoffs. The layoffs will affect at least 25 developers.
Kotaku reports that contract staff in several departments, including art, production and quality assurance, will be affected, and sources say at least 25 people are set to be let go.
Naughty Dog is shorting outsourced developers’ contracts. According to unconfirmed sources, no severance pay will be given to those laid off. Both the remaining employees and the laid-off developers are said to be “under pressure to keep quiet”. Sources say the affected contractors will have to work until the end of October. Then, they will officially terminate their contracts.
It is suspected that the developers involved may be those working on The Last of Us multiplayer project. This was initially planned to be released alongside The Last of Us 2. Earlier this year, following negative feedback from Bungie, the team working on the multiplayer project was hugely downsized.
Despite the ratings success of the recent HBO adaptation, the multiplayer spin-off of the zombie shooter based on the first game’s Factions mode has had some development difficulties. Bloomberg reported in June that Sony was pulling resources from the project. This came after Bungie, the recently acquired live-action powerhouse behind Destiny 2, received a negative internal review.
A source now says that while the multiplayer game hasn’t been cancelled entirely, it’s now effectively on ice.
The premature termination of Naughty Dog’s contract is the latest news in a string of layoffs and job losses in the gaming industry. Last week, Epic Games laid off 830 employees. And Fall Guys developer Mediatonic suffered heavy losses. On the same day, Sega suddenly announced that it was cancelling Hyenas. Redundancies are also expected at developer Creative Assembly. Team17 is also facing “significant” redundancies following the departure of its CEO and a proposed reorganisation.
Sony has not yet commented on the announced layoffs of contractors.