The Last of Us 2 multiplayer free-to-play notice found in job posting

The Last of Us Part 2’s multiplayer mode could be free to play, according to a new Naughty Dog job ad.

The listing (via ScreenRant) is for a senior monetization / business designer in the studio and states that the job will “focus on in-game initiatives to increase revenue and conversion while maintaining a strong player-first value system” . The tasks include “design”[ing] sustainable monetization systems in line with the vision of the game “and” collaborat[ing] throughout the development team to maintain the game economy for the life of the game. ”

The successful candidate has at least two years of experience working on “Monetization and Economics Systems for a Live Service Game” and ideally has a history of building a monetization model from scratch. While monetization models can be unpopular, Naughty Dog specifically asks for someone with “deep insight into non-destructive game monetization”.

The words “free to play” do not appear at all in the job advertisement, but the mention of an “in-game shop” and a broader game economy for a live service company certainly indicates this possibility. Premium titles often offer monetization options, but Naughty Dog seems to be looking to a fairly robust system here, which could mean it deviates from a paid game.

The listing doesn’t really make a mention of The Last of Us either, except for a brief nod to the success of the latest sequel given the studio’s overall legacy. However, The Last of Us 2’s multiplayer mode was removed from the game prior to its 2020 release, and the studio says they are still working on bringing it back as a standalone experience. Back in August, the studio began a significant hiring move for its “first standalone multiplayer game,” and it’s likely that this had something to do with the studio’s apocalyptic action game, unless it has something very good to do with it Nathan Drake to do.

Elsewhere, Naughty Dog teased “something big”.

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