Kotaku has recently reported that Naughty Dog, the developers responsible for franchises such as Uncharted and The Last of Us, is undergoing staff reductions, with at least 25 employees being affected, according to insider sources.

As per insider information, a number of departments, including production and art, have been impacted by the layoffs at Naughty Dog. However, it has been observed that the majority of the affected employees are from the quality assurance (QA) department.

According to the report, the recent layoffs at Naughty Dog seem to primarily impact contracted workers rather than full-time employees. It is worth noting that full-time staff members do not seem to have been affected by these cuts.

Those who have been impacted by the layoffs are reportedly not being offered severance pay which is par for the course when it comes to penny pinchers like Neil Druckmann. Additionally, it is suggested that employees at Naughty Dog are feeling pressured to keep this news under wraps.

Though I can’t help but wonder if these employee cuts have anything to do with the fact that The Last of Us Part 2 was a commercial flop.

A badly redacted court document from Sony Interactive Entertainment amidst the Microsoft vs FTC case have accidentally unveiled that the budget for The Last of Us Part 2 was actually $220 million dollars and when factoring in the advertising expenses, the total cost of the game amounts to $320 million.

The sequel for The Last of Us was hyped immensely, however the entire story premise was leaked before launch but that didn’t change a damn thing, it released and was immediately bastardized by majority of consumers who for whatever reason didn’t like how TLOU2 spat in the face of fans by not only killing off Joel, but to also fit with modern times Ellie has been “radicalized “modernized” into becoming a lesbian in what was supposed to be a post apocalyptical game.

Abby, one of the main protagonists in the story, is portrayed as a very strong and masculine woman. The game includes intense scenes of violence between female characters, as well as a detailed motion capture sex scene involving Abby, this scene alongside many other in-game cutscenes were ridiculed across the internet as people seemingly created their own meme renditions of them.

Which were far more entertaining than the actual game by the way.

As a result, many people strongly objected to the game, leading to the game having a significant number of retail returns and left retail outlets with excess inventory that remained unsold.

The game faced significant backlash and alongside the massive financial investment of its development and marketing it is unlikely that the game managed to be profitable. In July, Naughty Dog announced a “reconstruction of studio leadership” following the retirement of Evan Wells, who had been co-president for over 19 years.

This year has been spectacular with many woke video games effectively face planting themselves into the rubbish bin, with many underperforming studios facing financial struggles eventually culminating in the studio being dropped such as how Square Enix shut down Luminous Productions, developers of “Forespoken” barely over a month after the game launched and flopped.

343 Industries for whatever reason continues to remain alive and active, despite never having once made a functional or profitable video game in a franchise as iconic as Halo, they did however face significant layoffs back in January that saw 25% of their incompetent workforce given their marching orders.

Or how SEGA pulled the plug on their woke HYENAS project mere months before release, days after the open beta ended.

ESG funds are also experiencing losses, as companies like the Embracer Group cut ties with underperforming studios such as Volition and are considering selling Gearbox Software. The gaming industry is witnessing a wave of studio closures for those who prefer to pander towards ESG firms over actual consumers.

BioWare is but a husk of their former selves, having produced trainwreck after trainwreck, from Dragon Age Inquisition which bombed, particularly because the Frostbite engine is extremely difficult to modify to suit an RPG game. to Mass Effect Andromeda which bombed, and then the multiplayer focused ANTHEM which was a colossal failure for EA and BioWare. And for good measure you can expect the upcoming Dragon Age Dreadwolf to be an immensely woke pile of garbage that should surely see the studio being absorbed by EA and closed for good.

In addition to letting go of more than 25 employees, Naughty Dog has reportedly faced setbacks with their upcoming multiplayer-focused spin-off of The Last of Us franchise. According to Kotaku, the project has been put on hold, which aligns with a previous Bloomberg report from May that stated Sony had concerns about the game’s quality and long-term viability which is understandable given that a multiplayer only “spin-off” of The Last of Us franchise was bound to be a desperate cash grab anyway.