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.”
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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