Former Animator at Naughty Dog Shares Details on Prior Working Conditions

As we seemingly hear all too often around the industry, crunch is real and present for the teams that develop nearly every major game.

Jonathan Cooper is a former Senior Animator at Naughty Dog who took to Twitter to share some of the working conditions he faced prior to leaving in late 2019.

First, he details how the crunch was so bad to develop the gameplay demo last year for The Last of Us 2 that one friend of his in the studio had to be hospitalized.

Next he says that this is very common in Los Angeles but that Naughty Dog’s reputation for crunch is so bad, that it is now near impossible for them to hire senior developers.

According to Cooper, he is only telling the story from the animators viewpoint, but that there are other “worse” situations within the studio.

And lastly as we’ve seen all too often, the company doesn’t want these stories being shared.

Our Take

Sadly, this isn’t much of a surprise. With capitalism and the need to produce the best in the most cost efficient manner, many shortcuts are taken and it goes well beyond the video game industry. We hope that more developers within the industry share their stories so that one day it can change for the better. While we all adore the AAA experiences, at the end of the day they are games and people shouldn’t have to pay with their health to produce them.

By Seasoned Gaming

Covering the videogame industry with daily content, unique opinions, and as always, no ads or filler.

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