Naughty Dog layoffs reportedly put Last of Us multiplayer 'on ice’

Naughty Dog layoffs reportedly put Last of Us multiplayer 'on ice’
Images via Naughty Dog

Written by 

Tom Chapman


3rd Oct 2023 14:41

Every dog has its day, but for some, there are fears that Naughty Dog's best could be behind it. The acclaimed developer was once known for Crash Bandicoot, but since, has carved a very different legacy with Uncharted and The Last of Us

Despite continued calls for The Last of Us 3, Naughty Dog head honcho, Neil Druckmann, refuses to commit. At least we know that after 2022's The Last of Us Part I remastering the first game, there's another title on the way in the form of the long-awaited multiplayer standalone - that's if it ever releases.

Naughty Dog is the latest studio to be hit with delays

The Last of Us Part 2 Abby angry
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In a week that's seen Epic Games hit by over 800 layoffs and the Worms devs at Team 17 also dealt a blow, the seemingly immovable might of Naughty Dog is the latest gaming giant to feel the pressure. As reported by Kotaku, The Last of Us overseer is cutting costs.

As part of these measures, the site reports that dozens of contractors have had their contracts terminated. Sources "familiar" with the situation claim that layoffs were communicated through the Santa Monica studio last week.

Everything from art to production has been impacted, although quality assurance testing was apparently hit the hardest -  losing at least 25 developers. Naughty Dog's staffing was supposedly 400 back in July, and while no full-time staff are thought to be caught in this downsizing, there could be wider implications.

The Last of Us multiplayer reportedly 'on ice'

Looking at the bigger picture, the long-gestated The Last of Us multiplayer standalone is thought to be in the firing line. The first game released Factions as its version of a multiplayer, but many were left confused at why 2020's The Last of Us Part 2 didn't launch with one.

Faction 2 has seemingly evolved into its own beast, although that could all be up in the air. Kotaku goes on to say it's heard the multiplayer standalone is now "on ice," which isn't exactly a positive update. Apparently, resources were "diverted" away from the title following a negative internal review in May. 

Bloomberg previously said how development has "slowed down" on the multiplayer, with this update being another nail in the Cordyceps coffin. Despite the seemingly grim update, it's important to note that The Last of Us multiplayer isn't completely cancelled. We'll wait patiently for Naughty Dog's official word. 

Tom Chapman
About the author
Tom Chapman
Tom is Trending News Editor at GGRecon, with an NCTJ qualification in Broadcast Journalism and over seven years of experience writing about film, gaming, and television. With bylines at IGN, Digital Spy, Den of Geek, and more, Tom’s love of horror means he's well-versed in all things Resident Evil, with aspirations to be the next Chris Redfield.
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