Naughty Dog’s troubled, long-in-development multiplayer adaptation of The Last of Us has lost one of its most important employees: the man tasked with making money. Anders Howard was recruited by the award-winning studio last November, as the release’s Principal Monetisation Designer. In other words, he was tasked with creating systems that would presumably encourage players to part with their cash for cosmetics, buffs, and other items.
However, considering the project is all-but cancelled at this stage, it looks like there’s no role left for Howard. Less than a year after he joined the team, he’s updated his Linked In page to confirm his work ended in September 2023. This aligns with recent reports we’ve read regarding various layoffs and redundancies at the developer.
We can’t say many will be sad to see the departure of a Principal Monetisation Designer, but it was always going to be essential in a live service game. Unfortunately, it looks like we’ll never get to see what Naughty Dog was cooking, and it makes for quite a concerning generation in general from the California-based first-party; three years into the PS5 era it’s only released a remake of The Last of Us, and its next major game is still likely to be several years away.