While Marvel’s Spider-Man 2was taking up players’ weekend, Sony conducted layoffs at Visual Arts, a well-known support studio for PlayStation games.
There was a “wave of layoffs”last week at the studio, according to ex-senior level designer Daniel Bellemare. “While this is certainly not the news I was hoping for, I’m grateful to have had a chance to work amongst extremely talented colleagues on incredible projects and I’m leaving with good memories of my time there.”
“Goodbye, PlayStation/Sony, it’s been real!” added former technical recruiter Matt Barney. “For the past few months, I knew this layoff wave was coming.I love PlayStation & I always will.”
After doingassist work on first-party PlayStation titles for so long, Visual Arts was tapped to lead development on the remake forNaughty Dog’sThe Last of Us. Naughty Dog was later given full reign over the remake (which came out in 2022 for the PlayStation 5), after which several Visual Arts staff left the company.
The pair were revealed to be working together late last year on an unannounced”high visibility project,”and would’ve been the first instance of Naughty Dog openly co-developing a game with another studio.
Earlier in the month, it was reported Naughty Dog would be laying off around two dozen contract developers at the end of October. Alongside that information was the news that its troubled multiplayer spinoff for The Last of Us had been quietly shelved, but not canceled.
Whether there’s any connection between that information and these Visual Arts layoffs is unknown, at time of writing. Game Developer has reached out to Sony for comment, and will update this story when a response is given.