A wave of layoffs are affecting Naughty Dog – the studio behind The Last Of Us and Uncharted franchises. The developers are one of many outfits within the video game industry to face cutbacks in recent weeks. Recently, UK developers of Fall Guys, Mediatonic, were impacted by job losses. Over thirty staff members were let go from Striking Distance Studios, the team behind The Callisto Protocol, and 10,000 employees of 343, the creative minds behind the Halo franchise, were laid off.
In a report released by Kotaku, the publication noted that layoffs had been “communicated internally” at the Naughty Dog headquarters, based in Santa Monica, California, as verified by two insider sources. Departments impacted by the cutbacks include the art and production sectors. The bulk of those vacating are based in quality assurance testing. With contracts set to be terminated in October, those departing the team are expected to work through the rest of the month.
The sources connected to the story suggest a minimum of twenty-five developers will exit the company, whereas full-time staff with Naughty Dog will be unaffected by the losses, with more than 400 staff members at the studio as of July 2023. Kotaku were further informed that those let go were not offered severance pay.
Sony have not commented on the story, as Kotaku reports. The layoffs come a short time after Evan Wells, the current Naughty Dog co-president announced his retirement from the studio after 25 years, handing over the reins to collaborator Neil Druckmann. Wells will be leaving at the end of 2023.
“The decision brings with it overwhelming and conflicting emotions, but I’ve come to realize that I’m content with my time at the studio and all that we’ve accomplished together over the last 25 years,” Wells said.
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