Naughty Dog, the developer behind massive titles like The Last of Us, has recently laid off various contractors. These layoffs became a concerning sign for the studio’s future projects, including The Last of Us Multiplayer.
A recent report claimed that The Last of Us Multiplayer development had been scaled back, but it appears this is no longer the case. According to an insider, Naughty Dog’s multiplayer project has been canceled.
Why it matters: Earlier reports indicated that Naughty Dog and PlayStation intended to continue the project but did not have a solid direction for its future. However, it appears they have finally pulled the plug.
It’s dead, Jim.
— ViewerAnon (@ViewerAnon) October 5, 2023
VivewerAnon, a famous film insider, has previously shared information about Naughty Dog’s upcoming project, claiming that The Last of Us Part 3 was in development.
Following the news about Naughty Dog’s layoffs, the insider took to Twitter and replied to a user discussing the possibility of the game being canceled. ViewerAnon said:
“It’s dead, Jim.”
It appears PlayStation’s live service ambitions and goals have put Naughty Dog in a tough spot.
We believe Naughty Dog does not lack expertise in multiplayer games since the studio’s previous work on The Last of Us and Uncharted’s multiplayer modes was generally well-received.
However, PlayStation hoped its flagship developer would create a standalone experience that would keep players engaged for many years while bringing incredible amounts of profits through microtransactions.
This approach is not easy and led to Bungie reportedly dismissing Naughty Dog’s progress. Therefore, the studio may have decided to shift focus entirely to The Last of Us Part 3 for the future.
Recently, the studio also let go of the game’s monetization designer, highlighting that ViewerAnon’s report may be accurate.
Live service games like GTA Online are some of the most popular in the industry, but Naughty Dog’s sudden thrust into the market appears to have caused the studio’s downfall.
Additionally, PlayStation CEO Jim Ryan announced his retirement recently, and a report claims that many of the gaming giant’s internal studios are struggling with the push for live service, which began under his leadership.
Fortunately, Naughty Dog’s talents will continue to provide new experiences for the gaming industry.
While The Last of Us Multiplayer may never be released, the studio is expected to accelerate work on The Last of Us Part 3 and any other projects that may be in development.
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Bawal is an MBBS student by day and a gaming journalist by night. He has been gaming since childhood, growing fond of the creativity and innovation of the industry. His career as a gaming journalist started one year ago, and his journey has allowed him to write reviews, previews, and features for various sites. Bawal has also been cited in reputed websites such as Screenrant, PCGamesN, WCCFTech, GamesRadar, and more.