The developer Naughty Dog, known for games like “The Last of Us” and “Uncharted,” is reportedly laying off at least 25 staff members. The news comes from a report by Kotaku, which cites two anonymous sources familiar with the situation who received internal communications confirming the layoffs last week. The layoffs have affected several departments, including production and art, but the majority of those affected are quality assurance (QA) workers.
According to the report, the layoffs primarily affect contracted workers rather than full-time employees. It is stated that full-time staff members “do not appear to have been part of the cuts.” It is also mentioned that those affected by the layoffs are not being offered severance pay and that both affected employees and those remaining at Naughty Dog are being pressured not to disclose the news.
This news follows the retirement announcement of Evan Wells, who had worked with Naughty Dog for 25 years and served as its co-president. Around the same time, co-president Neil Druckmann announced a studio restructuring effort with staff members taking on new roles.
If the report is accurate, the timing of the restructuring effort may seem unusual considering Naughty Dog’s recent achievements. Earlier this year, the studio celebrated selling a cumulative total of 37 million copies of the “The Last of Us” franchise. Additionally, the TV adaptation of the franchise has received positive reviews from both critics and fans.
It is important to note that Naughty Dog has not made an official statement regarding these layoffs, so the information from Kotaku remains unconfirmed. However, the reported layoffs align with a trend seen in other studios and companies, including Embracer Group and Xbox, which have also experienced layoffs in recent months.
We have contacted Naughty Dog for comment on this story and will provide an update as soon as we receive a response.