Naughty Dog is reportedly laying off contracted developers

A new report has also alleged that the upcoming multiplayer spin-off for The Last of Us has been put "on ice".
naughty dog layoffs multiplayer game

Naughty Dog is reportedly laying off around 25 contracted developers across numerous studio departments, with the biggest cuts expected to hit its Quality Assurance (QA) team. The news was shared by Kotaku, which alleged that layoffs began in late September 2023, with the goal of downsizing the prolific studio.

Sources speaking to Kotaku allege they were not offered severance pay, and that they were asked to keep quiet about the news. Developers impacted will be expected to work until the end of October, at which point their contracts will expire.

In addition to these reports – although not clearly related – Kotaku also reports that the upcoming multiplayer spin-off game The Last of Us: Factions has now been put “on ice”. A multiplayer spin-off for the popular franchise has been in the works for several years, and was expected to be fully revealed in 2023, although it was reported as delayed earlier in the year.

Read: The Last of Us multiplayer spin-off to be revealed in 2023

Later, a Bloomberg report alleged that Factions had been delayed due to negative internal feedback from Sony studio Bungie, which has ample experience in crafting popular live-service multiplayer games like Destiny. At that point, it was believed that development work had “slowed down”.

Now, the future of the game is unclear – as is the impact of job cuts on development.

Sony and Naughty Dog have so far yet to confirm the reported layoffs, although several posts on LinkedIn spotted by reporter Timur222 indicate their legitimacy. Our thoughts are with those impacted by the layoffs at the studio – and those impacted by wider layoffs in the games industry.

In recent months, several major studios have begun initiating cuts, with Team17, Epic Games, Ascendant Studios, Crystal Dynamics, and Blizzard Entertainment being the latest to undergo restructuring, amidst changing economic conditions.

Leah J. Williams is a gaming and entertainment journalist who's spent years writing about the games industry, her love for The Sims 2 on Nintendo DS and every piece of weird history she knows. You can find her tweeting @legenette most days.