PlayStation’s flagship game studio Naughty Dog has axed dozens of contract developers. Alongside firing contract workers, the Uncharted and Last of Us studio has asked workers to keep the firings quiet on social media.
In a report by Kotaku, it’s revealed that the first party PlayStation developer at least 25 developers in its first wave of layoffs. The majority of firings affect the studio’s quality assurance and bug testing teams as well as artists on upcoming projects.
Contract workers that have been cut by Naughty Dog will not be offered any severance packages for being cut from their contracts early. These workers will still be at the company until the end of October, working until the end of the month.
Despite the massive success of Naughty Dog games, and the recent Last of Us TV show, even the first-party PlayStation dev isn’t safe from layoffs. While the studio has yet to reveal its next project, the team is still working on a multiplayer game set in Last of Us’ universe, but development has not gone well.
Furthermore, an enhanced version of The Last of Us: Part 2 is reportedly in development for PS5 as well as a third game with an all-new cast of survivors. Despite numerous projects, contract workers are not safe from industry-wide layoffs that are happening at the time of writing. At least at the Uncharted studio, full-time workers appear to be safe.
Alongside Naughty Dog, other major developers have cut hundreds of workers in recent weeks. For example, Epic Games recently laid off almost 900 employees across Unreal Engine, Fortnite, Fall Guys and other projects after failing to hit profit margins. However, the company still pays its CEO, Tim Sweeney, millions of dollars every year.
This follows a horrendous year of layoffs in the tech sector, including Facebook parent company Meta, social media company Twitter, and even Pokémon Go developer Niantic. It’s a tumultuous time to be an employee in the tech or gaming right now.
There is no news on when Naughty Dog’s next project will be released. However, many fans expect a PC port of The Last of Us: Part 2 to arrive sometime soon.