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PlayStation lays off staff at Visual Arts support dev

Layoffs have hit the support developer that's been aiding with some of PlayStation's biggest franchises since 2007.

Justin Carter

October 23, 2023

1 Min Read
Logo for Sony's PlayStation console.
Image via Sony.

While Marvel's Spider-Man 2 was taking up players' weekends, 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 doing assist work on first-party PlayStation titles for so long, Visual Arts was tapped to lead development on the remake for Naughty Dog's The 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. 

About the Author(s)

Justin Carter

Contributing Editor, GameDeveloper.com

A Kansas City, MO native, Justin Carter has written for numerous sites including IGN, Polygon, and SyFy Wire. In addition to Game Developer, his writing can be found at io9 over on Gizmodo. Don't ask him about how much gum he's had, because the answer will be more than he's willing to admit.

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