Naughty Dog Is the Latest Company to Lay Off Its Staff – What’s Going On?

Naughty Dog joins a long list of companies that have laid off employees.

Naughty Dog is the latest Company to Lay off its Staff – What’s Going On


  • Naughty Dog joins the list of companies to lay off employees
  • 25 employees from QA Testing to leave by October end
  • No severance is to be given to affected employees
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Naughty Dog has joined the infamous list of gaming studios to have laid off people this year, which has grown significantly in the past few months. 2023 has been a brilliant year for gamers, with plenty of AAA titles and Indie games having been released and plenty more to look forward to as well. Unfortunately, that has not translated into job security for many, as studios have continued to lay off people.


Among the recent companies in the gaming industry to have laid off their employees are Epic Games and Riot Games. None of the gaming studios seem to be immune from job cuts at the moment.

Naughty Dog Parts With 25 Developers, Without Severance

Makers of The Last of Us and Uncharted games have reportedly laid off 25 employees.
Makers of The Last of Us and Uncharted games have reportedly laid off 25 employees.

Naughty Dog has always been one of the top studios, producing some excellent story-driven games. The Last of Us series and Uncharted are among some of the classic PlayStation exclusives from the studio that garnered admirable ratings from PC ports as well.


Also Read: TWO WEEKS After Announcing Record Profits, Team17 is the Latest Developer Laying Off a Chunk of their Employees

Naughty Dog had 400 employees, as reported back in July, and is now reported to have parted ways with 25 developers, cutting contracts as part of downsizing. Of the 25 employees affected, most of them have been reported to have worked in quality assurance testing.

While the affected employees are said to keep their roles at least until the end of October, they are reported to leave without a severance being offered. Sony still hasn’t made any official comments about the layoffs.


The news was internally communicated to the employees at the company’s Santa Monica studio last week. No full-time staff has been reported to have been affected; however, the staff has been asked to keep the unfortunate news to themselves.

Multiplayer Project on Ice: Internal Restructuring Could Have Led To Layoffs

A zombie-shooter multiplayer spin-off game based on The Last of Us was canceled back in July.
A zombie-shooter multiplayer spin-off game based on The Last of Us was canceled back in July.

Earlier this year, Naughty Dog announced the shelving of a project that was said to be a multiplayer spin-off zombie shooter based on Factions multi-player mode from The Last of Us. Sony had recently acquired Bungie to have it work as its premier live-service publisher.

Bungie had reportedly been assessing games and also questioned the long-term viability of games like The Last of Us, which led to the multiplayer spin-off game being shelved temporarily. Naughty Dog went on to state that a small team will continue to work on the planned game, as well as revealing that a new IP is also among the studio’s plans.


Also Read: Naughty Dog Co-President Retires, Handing Control to The Last of Us’ Neil Druckmann

President of Naughty Dog, Evan Wells, has also decided to retire by the end of 2023 after 25 years with the studio, leading to a complete restructuring within the company. Neil Druckmann, the creative director and lead co-writer for the most recent Uncharted and The Last of Us games, is being given the keys to replace Wells after his departure.

Druckmann made the announcement back in July about the change of guard at Naughty Dog. Druckmann was also quite involved in the production of HBO’s adaptation of The Last of Us. The adaptation went on to become a successful show, rating quite high among HBO productions. A second season is currently on hold due to the ongoing SAG-AFTRA strikes.


Also Read: Blizzard Fires 10 Members from Its Hearthstone Team

Naughty Dog is certainly not the only major gaming company to have laid off employees, as Team17 has also laid off close to 50 QA testers, despite posting profits just two weeks ago. Epic Games, the studio behind Fortnite, also laid off around 900 employees, while Electronic Arts parted ways with around 1,000 employees. Blizzard also let go of 10 members who were working on its massively successful game, Hearthstone, without any prior notice.

SAG-AFTRA had also called upon major gaming studios last month in support of performers within the gaming industry to get assurance of keeping their jobs as a “viable career“, while also asking the video game corporations to “fairly compensate” the performers.


What are your thoughts on gaming studios letting go of their employees, sometimes without prior notice or severance? Make sure to leave a comment and let us know your thoughts.

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Written by Ayoub Hassan Adur

Articles Published: 397

Ayoub Hassan Adur worked in the Translation Industry for more than a decade before turning to Content Writing. Ayoub loves Gaming and has also written news stories in the gaming industry for two other websites before joining FandomWire Gaming. Manchester United fan since the '90s.