In 2019, Naughty Dog stated that The Last of Us multiplayer mode would be absent from the then-upcoming The Last of Us Part 2, with it being spun off to become a separate release. Since then, the project has been turbulent, and Naughty Dog has recently seen layoffs in multiple areas.
You might be wondering what is going on with the project and if and how the layoffs may affect the game’s development, so we’ve put this guide together to explain the game’s current situation and if these latest layoffs will affect the upcoming multiplayer title.
What’s Going On at Naughty Dog?
Recently, Naughty Dog became the newest studio to lay off some of its staff in what has become a sad trend in 2023, with many other studios such as Bioware, Sega, and Epic letting go of considerable numbers of staff. This time, contractors have been affected, according to sources who spoke with Kotaku, with staff in the art, production, and QA being laid off, with the latter being the most affected.
Supposedly, these will not be getting severance pay, and employees at the studio are being urged to keep quiet about the situation, which, if accurate, makes the whole situation look even more depressing. Currently, Sony or Naughty Dog has not made any comments about the supposed layoffs.
Will This Affect the Last of Us Multiplayer?
In the grand scheme of the game’s development, these layoffs may not have as much of an impact as you would expect, with at least 25 staffers being affected in a studio with over 400 staff. That said, any layoffs will cause a bit of confusion or affect a game’s development, even if it’s minimal, but without any concrete quotes or details, it’s hard to tell.
Now, if we could move away from this discussion’s business and development side, this news likely has affected the developers themselves. Having people suddenly lose their jobs is never good, and being a studio where this has or can happen likely doesn’t do your well-being any good, so with that said, we hope the developers, both past and present, can bounce back from this situation.
As for the state of the game, that has now become even more precarious. Early this year the project was dealt a major blow earlier this year after Bungie, who Sony now owns, was asked to evaluate the project and gave some rather negative feedback on the title. As a result, the project was scaled back, with developers being moved off the project. The latest layoffs have only added to the game’s issues, with it not canceled but on thin ice.
With very little news about the project since its announcement, we can’t say how well development has gone or what state the project is in. Still, by all accounts, the multiplayer title isn’t having the best time, so don’t expect any news about a release of the game for some time.