Mass layoffs announced by PlayStation last week affected hundreds of people, including veteran developers. Among them was Santiago Gutierrez, an experienced artist who has been with Naughty Dog for nearly two decades.

Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End

What happened?

Gutierrez shared the news on LinkedIn last Friday, writing a lengthy post detailing his emotions and feelings about losing his job at Naughty Dog. “When you look [at] your kids, and you feel. ‘Did I fail in something?'”

He noted that the “sudden [and] unexpected termination felt like a cruel twist of fate,” adding that “my heart is totally broken. Because I do care where I work. My commitment is for a long run.”

“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. 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 [allowed] to say a goodbye on person… after 18 years, what damage I could do ?”

Despite the sad news, Gutierrez described the termination as a “gateway to a transformative journey, where the richness of experience gained over the years found a new canvas to paint upon.” Right now, he is looking for a new job, where he will be able to share his experience, build teams, make games, and be happy again.

PlayStation announced its decision to lay off 900 employees on February 27. It is unclear how many Naughty Dog devs will lose their jobs, but the studio was one of several teams affected by the cuts, in addition to Insomniac Games, Guerrilla Games, Firesprite, and London Studio. The latter will be closed completely.

Who is Santiago Gutierrez?

  • Santiago Gutierrez began his game development career in the late 90s, working as an artist at companies like Ubisoft, Climax, and Criterion.
  • His early portfolio includes Pro Rally 2001-2002, Crusty Demons, and Ghost Rider (via MobyGames).
  • In 2006, Gutierrez joined Naughty Dog, where he worked as an environment modeler, artist, and senior environment artist.
  • He contributed to the studio’s core franchises, starting with Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune. The last game he made as part of Naughty Dog was The Last of Us: Part I, a 2022 remake for PS5.
  • Gutierrez also worked on the first The Last of Us, as well as Uncharted 2: Among Thieves and Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End.

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