There have been huge speculations about Naughty Dog’s standalone The Last of Us multiplayer game. According to a Kotaku report, the project, while not wholly scrapped, is “on ice,” leading many to wonder if it will ever come to life.
The well-known studio responsible for hits like Uncharted and The Last of Us is letting go of several contract employees. Kotaku’s sources state that at least 25 developers are affected by these layoffs, primarily those in quality assurance testing roles. While full-time employees are reportedly safe for now, the project they were working on is under scrutiny.
Within this context of layoffs and internal restructuring, the future of the standalone The Last of Us multiplayer game is increasingly uncertain. Initially described as Naughty Dog’s most ambitious project to date, it has now been sidelined, according to Kotaku’s findings. Though it hasn’t been officially canceled, the game’s current status doesn’t inspire much confidence.
It’s worth noting that Sony, Naughty Dog’s parent company, had earlier pulled resources away from the multiplayer project after a less-than-favorable internal review, as reported by Bloomberg. This move further muddied the waters for the project, casting doubt on its eventual release.
The layoffs at Naughty Dog aren’t an isolated event. Other big-name studios like 343 Industries, Electronic Arts, Ubisoft, and Epic Games have also seen recent cuts. This wave of layoffs across the industry adds another layer of uncertainty to the future of projects like The Last of Us multiplayer game.
As of now, it remains to be seen whether Naughty Dog and Sony will go back to the drawing board to revive this multiplayer project. Given the current state of affairs, that outcome seems less and less likely.