Earlier this week, reports surfaced that Naughty Dog, the PlayStation studio behind Uncharted and The Last of Us, had been hit with layoffs. Around 25 employees had apparently been let go, with most being contract workers from the company’s QA department. After sources claimed that The Last of Us Factions multiplayer project was “on ice” as a result of the layoffs, a new report says that the game is now dead at Naughty Dog.
The report originates from ViewerAnon, a Twitter user who mainly reports on movie leaks but occasionally dabbles in video game leaks too. The leaker says that the planned standalone multiplayer game for The Last of Us is now dead at the studio.
Last week, PlayStation CEO Jim Ryan announced that he’d be stepping down from his role as the leader of Sony Interactive Entertainment early next year. Ryan, who had worked at the company for nearly 30 years, stated that he found it difficult to constantly travel between his home in the UK and his work in the US as one of the main reasons behind his departure.
Some fans celebrated Ryan’s exit from PlayStation as the company’s shift towards live service games – a big point of contention for PlayStation players who prefer Sony’s single-player offerings – was pinned on Ryan’s decision-making, which may have led to Naughty Dog and other first-party studios kicking off the development of more multiplayer-focused titles like The Last of Us Factions.
With Ryan leaving Sony coupled with the layoffs this week, it’s possible that Naughty Dog halted the development of The Last of Us‘ standalone multiplayer game in order to refocus its efforts on future single-player projects. This is all speculation on our part so take it with a grain of salt.
Naughty Dog first confirmed that it was working on a standalone multiplayer project for The Last of Us back in June 2022 but the game has seen little to no updates since then.