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Naughty Dog devs suffer layoffs, reportedly impacting Last of Us multiplayer spinoff

A new report revealed that Naughty Dog has ended several contracts it had with developers early, laying off around 25 developers. This had a negative impact on The Last of Us multiplayer game but, more importantly, is chillingly just the latest batch of layoffs in a rough couple of months for the video game industry.

These contracted developers were informed that their contracts were ending prematurely at the end of October and that they’d get no severance afterward, according to the report at Kotaku. Reportedly, most of these layoffs at Naughty Dog, PlayStation’s darling studio that employs over 400 developers, come from the quality assurance, art, and production teams. According to Kotaku, Naughty Dog asked its developers to keep quiet about it. That didn’t happen, though, with developers telling Kotaku not only about the layoffs but that the multiplayer The Last of Us game “while not completely canceled, is basically on ice at this point.”

The second piece of The Last of Us multiplayer concept art shows two players walking toward a beached yacht.
Concept art for Naughty Dog’s Last of Us multiplayer title. Naughty Dog

These layoffs are unfortunate but sadly not uncommon for the game industry. Throughout the last few weeks, studios like Ubisoft, Creative Assembly, Ascendant Studios, and Epic Games have all laid off people. Epic, in particular, cut a whopping 16% of its workforce despite the fact that Fortnite is one of the most popular video games. Then, there are studios like Saints Row’s Volition, support studio Puny Human, and Boomerang X’s Dang are closing entirely.

Although 2023 has been a year full of fantastic games like The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, Street Fighter 6, and Baldur’s Gate 3, it’s unfortunate that it has been so rough for the developers who actually make the games in this gigantic industry. It’s clear something needs to change.

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Tomas Franzese
Gaming Staff Writer
Tomas Franzese is a Staff Writer at Digital Trends, where he reports on and reviews the latest releases and exciting…
We tasted The Last of Us Part II’s apocalyptic new whisky
A bottle of whiskey inspired by The Last of Us sits on a table.

Just before this year's Penny Arcade Expo in Seattle, The Last of Us Part II developer Naughty Dog brought a group of fans, press, and staff to a small bar for a special event to celebrate the franchise's latest release. This wasn't The Last of Us Part I, which came out the next day; instead, they were there to debut a new whisky inspired by Part II called Moth & Wolf.

The event was held at Quinn's Pub in Seattle's Capitol Hill neighborhood. Its schedule featured a guided tasting of the new whisky, an appearance by Naughty Dog co-president and TLOU co-writer Neil Druckmann, and an acoustic set of six original songs by Troy Baker, the actor who voices Joel. While the whisky was the star of the show, the event itself also served as a somber goodbye for Baker, who officially closed out his time with TLOU.
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Moth & Wolf is the latest product from the Digital Spirits project by Chivas Brothers, which is arguably best-known for its eponymous blended whisky Chivas Regal. Digital Spirits' aim, according to Chivas' Kevin Balmforth, is to "get closer to what fans are passionate about," by making spirits that are influenced by modern forms of entertainment like video games. Balmforth is the master brewer at the distillery that created Moth & Wolf, and describes himself as having been a "big gamer" even before coming aboard the collaboration, which has been nearly two years in the making.

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The Last of Us Part 1: best weapon upgrades
Ellie aiming a rifle.

Everything is scarce in The Last of Us Part 1. You will constantly be running low on supplies, ammo, health, and maybe even hope. This game functions a lot like survival horror games, in which managing your inventory is just as important as being able to land that critical headshot. Your arsenal, in terms of firearms, is not terribly large, but you do have the ability to upgrade each weapon in a number of ways to help you make the most of every precious bullet you find.

Weapon upgrades, just like skill upgrades, are not free -- they both cost a limited resource. However, weapon upgrades also have an extra layer of restriction in that you can't simply stop and upgrade a weapon whenever you feel like it. When you are able to upgrade, you also have to consider which gun you want to invest in, how you want to invest in it, or if you want to save up for a future weapon or a more expensive upgrade later. It's a delicate balance, but we've picked the best weapon upgrades to help you survive your journey in The Last of Us Part 1.
How to upgrade weapons

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The Last of Us Part 1: All Training Manual locations
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Joel has managed to survive for over 25 years in the Clicker invested world, but even he can learn a few new tricks. He's already adept with any gun you can get your hands on and can slap together basic materials to make some useful tools, but just about everything you have access to can be made better with the right training. Unfortunately, it's a little late for Joel and Ellie to enroll in a survival course, so reading up is the next best option.

The Last of Us Part 1 has 12 hidden Training Manuals you can collect that all improve one of your tools in a meaningful way. Some of these are so powerful that you'll wonder how you managed without them, and yet some are so well hidden that you can go through the game multiple times without finding them all. If you want to become an expert Boy Scout, turn on your Listen Mode and pay close attention to our guide on finding all the Training Manuals in The Last of Us Part 1.
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Your first Training Manual to grab is in Bill's Town. You will have a hard time missing it, but after you escape from Bill's leg snare trap and follow him into the bar, one of the many objects to pick up is the training manual right on the bar itself.

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