After years of rumors, speculation, reports, and datamining, Naughty Dog’s biggest open secret has finally been confirmed by the developer itself: Naughty Dog is working on “the studio’s first standalone multiplayer game.” The company tweeted out a number of job listings expressly for the multiplayer title from its official NaughtyDogJobs account.
— Naughty Dog Jobs (@NaughtyDogJobs) August 27, 2021
While we’ve known for a while now that Naughty Dog is working on something multiplayer, it wasn’t clear whether it would be a Factions mode added to The Last of Us Part II, a separate game, or something else altogether. Some even wondered if the multiplayer game/mode had been dropped as the studio forged forward with whatever it was developing next. Now, however, we know that a standalone multiplayer game is coming from the studio, most likely expanding on the Factions mode from the first Last of Us that was pulled from the second game (the image in the above tweet shows The Last of Us Part II).
Naughty Dog is hiring for the following positions for its multiplayer game:
- Associate Gameplay Scripter
- Gameplay Scripter
- Level/Environment Designer
- Monetization/Economy Designer
- Systems Designer
- Visual Effects Artist
- AI Programmer
- Animation Programmer
- Backend Programmer
- Associate Multiplayer Quality Assurance Tester/Development Support
- UI Scripter/Programmer
Naughty Dog has plenty of experience with implementing multiplayer modes into its games. Uncharted 2, 3, and 4 all had multiplayer, as well as The Last of Us. However, this will be the first time Naughty Dog has developed a standalone multiplayer game not connected to a major flagship single-player experience.
Naughty Dog’s work on this multiplayer game was effectively outed multiple times by job listings in the past, and it seems like the studio got ahead of the speculation here to confirm it for themselves. The Last of Us Part II was supposed to have multiplayer, but it was cut in the interest of the single-player experience. However, datamines and these job listings showed that the Studio had kept working on the multiplayer experience, though what it looks like now is anyone’s guess.