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Even The Last of Us developer, Naughty Dog, can’t avoid cutting back development in 2023

The affected contractors are expected to continue working until the end of October.

In the latest round of upsetting news for the games industry, Naughty Dog is the next studio to make cuts, this time for at least 25 contractors.

This comes from Kotaku, who spoke with two sources reporting that the cuts were communicated internally at the studio last week. Members of the quality assurance team were primarily affected, but there were some in the art department and production that have been too. At least 25 contractors have seen their contracts shortened, but full-time staff do not currently appear to be included in the cuts.

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The sources also told Kotaku that the contractors being laid off haven't been offered any severance, and both those who have been laid off as well as other employees were apparently pressured into staying quiet about the news. Worse still, the contractors are expected to work through to the end of their contracts, which apparently now terminates in October.

This is also just the latest round of multiple layoffs in the past week. Activision Blizzard laid off several Hearthstone staff last Wednesday in what it called "organisational changes," and just yesterday UK publisher team17 also suffered from layoffs, with its CEO Michael Pattison leaving too.

It's unclear why these cuts have been made aside from the usual reason (saving money), and there's also no word as to whether this has anything to do with Naughty Dog's The Last of Us multiplayer project. Back in May a report from Bloomberg claimed that development on the project had been scaled back after Destiny developer Bungie assessed the game, only leaving a small group to continue working on it while Naughty Dog figured out how to proceed.

In July, Naughty Dog co-president Evan Wells also retired after 25 years at the studio, leaving The Last of Us co-director Neil Druckmann as the sole president.

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