The Last of Us multiplayer game is reportedly "on ice" amid layoffs at Naughty Dog

The Last of Us
(Image credit: Naughty Dog)

The Last of Us multiplayer project is reportedly "on ice," as developer Naughty Dog scales down by abruptly cutting ties with more than 25 contractors.

Earlier today, October 3, Kotaku reported layoffs had hit Naughty Dog. Multiple sources cited in the report claimed "at least" 25 developers had been let go from the studio as part of downsizing, and the impacted developers, as well as remaining staff, were being pressured to keep quiet about the departures.

The report from Kotaku also highlights that the attempted Last of Us multiplayer spin-off, a planned resurrection of the beloved Factions mode from the original game, "has struggled" in development. "One source now tells Kotaku that the multiplayer game, while not completely canceled, is basically on ice at this point," the report states.

Earlier this year, a report claimed the multiplayer spin-off had been scaled back. "While the game has not been canceled, many of its developers have been moved to other projects," the report claimed at the time, writing that as part of an internal review from Bungie developers, the Last of Us spin-off had been received negatively.

As a result, Naughty Dog was apparently "re-evaluating" the project at that time. Today's new report points to the outcome of this re-evaluation being that the project has effectively been paused, with developers being both laid off and moved onto other projects at Naughty Dog.

Elsewhere, The Last of Us season 2 will begin production imminently, according to the showrunner of the original series.

You can check out our upcoming PS5 games guide for a look over all the exclusive titles set to launch later this year and beyond.

Hirun Cryer

Hirun Cryer is a freelance reporter and writer with Gamesradar+ based out of U.K. After earning a degree in American History specializing in journalism, cinema, literature, and history, he stepped into the games writing world, with a focus on shooters, indie games, and RPGs, and has since been the recipient of the MCV 30 Under 30 award for 2021. In his spare time he freelances with other outlets around the industry, practices Japanese, and enjoys contemporary manga and anime.