Layoffs continue to be an unfortunately common trend in the video game industry, and the latest round has hit one of PlayStation’s most beloved studios. Naughty Dog is reportedly laying off 25 of its contracted workers, most of them in the quality assurance department.
A Kotaku report published this morning details a recent round of layoffs at The Last of Us and Uncharted developer Naughty Dog. The studio apparently decided to prematurely end the contracts of 25 works. A handful of them worked in art and production, but the majority of them were QA workers. Affected employees were informed of the decision last week, and were allegedly told to keep quiet about the layoffs, likely to avoid the negative press that has hit other studios amid layoff news.
The contracts will officially end in October, and laid-off employees are expected to remain at the company until the end of the month. The laid-off workers will reportedly not receive severance packages following their exit from Naughty Dog. According to the report, Naughty Dog’s downsizing is exclusively affecting contracted workers, and none of the company’s full-time employees have been let go.
It’s unclear if the cuts are related to recently reported internal struggles at the studios. This summer, it was reported that the upcoming multiplayer spin-off of The Last of Us wasn’t coming along very well and that several people working on it had been reassigned to other projects at the company. Naughty Dog all but confirmed this with an official statement that the game needs more time. According to Kotaku, the multiplayer spin-off of The Last of Us is essentially “on ice.”
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Contract worker layoffs are common in the video game industry, often happening after a project's completion or due to shifting development needs.