The Last of US video game releases Naughty Dog

Naughty Dog Is Reportedly Laying Off More Than Two Dozen Contracted Developers

The Last of Us' Factions Multiplayer title hasn't been outright cancelled yet but is "basically on Ice"

Video Game Industry layoffs have made a short return but at Naughty Dog this time around as the PlayStation Studios developer is reportedly laying off its contracted-level developer. The number of people being laid off totalling at least 25, according to two sources familiar with the situation via Kotaku’s reporting.

These cuts are part of a downsizing initiative at Naughty Dog, which was revealed internally as early as last week. Departments affected by the layoffs at the studio ranged from art to production, with a “majority” being QA developers. No full-time staff were affected by the cuts but are being asked to keep the news quiet, reportedly at over 400 employees in July.

The contracted developers affected haven’t been laid off yet but are still working the rest of the month until their contract is terminated at the end of October. The scummy aspect of the news after the initial layoff news is that Sony is letting these people go without severance, which would be an immense help as developers search for their next opportunity.

We don’t know what Naughty Dog is working on next other than The Last of Us Factions multiplayer title, which Kotaku’s sources revealed that the project hasn’t been outright cancelled but ” is basically on ice at this point.” This new information isn’t surprising as it’s in line with Bloomberg’s initial reporting from late May, which revealed the project was scaling back resources to reassess after an internal review from Bungie that raised questions on the longevity of the Last of Us multiplayer title.

Naughty Dog announced a couple of months back that it would restructure its leadership around the same time as the studio’s co-president, Evan Wells, announced his retirement after working there for 19 years. A year of layoffs in 2023 started earlier this year with Riot Games layoffs, and the latest was just yesterday, with indie publisher Team17 laying off 50 roles from its workforce.