Gaming giant Naughty Dog is hit with job layoffs amidst reports that a major multiplayer project is cooling off on the shelf.

Naughty Dog Games: From Fetch to Layoffs?

Just when you thought the barks at Naughty Dog couldn't get any louder, we hear tales of layoffs from their doghouse. This is the same studio that gave us the video game equivalents of 'Citizen Kane' and 'Gone With the Wind' – 'The Last of Us' and 'Uncharted', respectively. But now, they're rearranging the deck chairs and Kurt Vonnegut's favorite phrase, "So it goes," suddenly feels highly appropriate.

According to the gaming Sherlock Holmes, Kotaku, as many as 25 developers at Naughty Dog have been issued pink slips, their contracts ended unceremoniously like a console turned off in the middle of a 'Final Fantasy' game. Interestingly, the great gaming guillotine swept across different departments, laying bare a swathe from artists to producers. Most of the casualties were, however, from the QA testing department (Always hit 'em where it hurts. Ouch!).

Amid this intriguing game of corporate 'Survivor,' full-time staff appear as untouchable as a child in a game of tag, seemingly unaffected by the purge. Also off the table are severance packages, with the affected developers sent on their way with nary a “good luck” or a pat on the back. Some report that Naughty Dog is encouraging employees to keep a lid on the layoffs, but in the age of Twitter and TikTok, honestly, what are they thinking?

But like a plot twist straight out of one of their games, it seems that the dismissed employees are expected to continue working until the end of this spook-tacular October. It's like being told that, despite being voted off the island, we're still counting on you to build the shelter and catch fish – and then leave, thank you very much.

Adding a dash of suspense to the drama is news about Naughty Dog’s in-development Last of Us multiplayer game. The much-anticipated game is not quite defunct, but it’s chilling in the proverbial corner of the game development room; a gaming popsicle, if you will. ‘On ice’, as Kotaku’s sources put it.

This follows an earlier announcement this year when Naughty Dog said that their multiplayer game needed a bit more tender loving care or, to use their words, "more time". Wink, wink. But apparently even Destiny 2 developer Bungie, bought by Sony for a whopping $3.6 billion (whoa! That could buy a lot of pizza), followed up by questioning the game’s potential as a sustainable live-service game. This resulted in Naughty Dog giving the game a timeout, pulling resources away from it, and reshuffling developers, like deck cards at a Vegas Casino.

By now, our hearts go out to everyone affected by these layoffs. We can only hope that they find greener pastures or, should we say, more engaging video games to develop. Naughty Dog, it seems, may need a bit of a walk and a good scratch behind the ears, as we look forward to their next big hit. Dogs may be man's best friend, but the gaming world is certainly a dog-eat-dog environment. Good luck, you brave bunch, we're rooting for you!

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John Hope

Hey, I'm John Hope! Sneakers aren't just footwear to me, they're a lifestyle. Over the years, I've built a collection that would make any sneakerhead green with envy. But if you ask about my favorite? No competition, it's the Jordan 11. Those beauties are more than just shoes; they're a work of art, a piece of history. From the court to the street, my kicks tell my story. Join me on this sole-ful journey!

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