A Naughty Dog job listing says the developer is looking to hire a senior monetisation/economy designer for a multiplayer project.
The project is described as the studio’s “first standalone multiplayer game” according to the job listing. Adding that the monetisation designer will help “build an incredible, player-friendly economy” and “will focus on in-game initiatives to increase revenue and conversion while maintaining a strong player-first value system.”
This sounds an awful lot like a Games As A Service (GAAS) type deal, just going off that brief description. The responsibilities of the role add that the goal is to keep “improving retention” all while “respecting the player experience”, as in-game items and an in-game store will be present, further pointing to some sort of GAAS model.
Mistakes of other titles do appear to be well in the rear-view mirror of Naughty Dog however, as it adds that the hire will “develop taxonomy, guidelines, and best practices for monetisation for others to follow based on studio and game values, ethical and legal standards, and industry best practices.”
Whilst there’s no mention of what this “standalone multiplayer game” actually is, all signs point to it being a sequel to the Factions mode from The Last of Us, as Naughty Dog has repeatedly stated it is still being worked on.
Back in 2019 the team tweeted that “as development began on the evolution of our Factions mode from The Last of Us Part I, the vision of the team grew beyond an additional mode that could be included with our enormous single player campaign,” adding that this multiplayer mode would thus be launching separately from The Last of Us Part 2.
Then in September of this year the continuing development of Factions was reiterated, as a community day post read: “For now, we’ll say that we love what the team is developing and want to give them time to build out their ambitious project, we’ll reveal more when it’s ready!”
NME has contacted Naughty Dog for comment, and we will update this story once we receive a response.