Naughty Dog | Senior artist behind The Last Of Us and Uncharted loses job after 18 years

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In an emotional post on LinkedIn, Naughty Dog senior artist Santiago Gutierrez announces he’s lost his job at Naughty Dog. “My heart is totally broken,” he writes.

Santiago Gutierrez, the senior artist at respected developer Naughty Dog, has announced that he’s lost his job at the studio after some 18 years there. In an emotional post on LinkedIn, Gutierrez described it as “an unexpected termination” and a “cruel twist of fate.”

During his time at Naughty Dog, Gutierrez worked on the lush environments seen in 2007’s Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune, 2009’s Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, as welk as both parts of The Last Of Us, including their next-gen remakes. In short, Gutierrez had a creative role in just about all of the studio’s recent hits.

“The sadness in the last two days of my layoff is not just about losing a job, it is more about losing a sense of purpose, a community, a team I love with the bottom of my heart, ” Gutierrez wrote, “a routine that had become intertwined with the fabric of daily life.”

Gutierrez also implied that his departure was so sudden that he wasn’t allowed to properly say goodbye to colleagues:

“It leaves you with a profound sense of disorientation and a pervasive sadness that lingered long after your internet is cut, because even in this time you are not allow to say a goodbye on person……… after 18 years, what damage I could do?”

Gutierrez’s post coincides with the news which spread on the 27th February that Sony is laying off 900 employees across the various sectors of its business, with studios affected including Guerrilla, Firesprite, PlayStation’s London Studio and, yes, Naughty Dog. It’s not currently clear how many others besides Gutierrez have lost their jobs.

Behind all these statistics are human stories, though, and Gutierrez’s farewell message is a reminder, if any were needed, of how painful these job losses are – “my heart is totally broken,” the artist said. “Because I do care where I work.”

“So, yes, I am looking for a new job,” he wrote at the end of his note. “I want to share all my experience, build teams, make games and be happy again.”

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