Naughty Dog Hires Fortnite Veteran As Its "Monetization Designer" For A New Project
The Last of Us and Uncharted studio brings on a developer with a lot of experience in the live-service space.
Naughty Dog has hired Fortnite's former system designer to become the "principal monetization designer" on an upcoming project. Anders Howard, who designed the core of Fortnite's battle pass and its progression system, is now working on Naughty Dog on a new project believed to be a live-service multiplayer title.
Howard left Epic Games in January 2022 after seven years with the company, moving to Ubisoft Stockholm where he worked on a new IP and contributed to its economy design.
He's joining Naughty Dog as the studio develops its first major multiplayer game, which is a standalone title in the Last of Us universe. Very little is known about the game, but Naughty Dog has said it will begin to discuss the game properly in 2023.
The Last of Us standalone multiplayer game is expected to be a free-to-play title supported by microtransactions. As such, it seems Howard is an experienced person to help guide Naughty Dog's development philosophy and systems surrounding in-game economy design and monetization.
Naughty Dog has said its Last of Us multiplayer game is an "extremely ambitious undertaking." The developer said: "We're growing our studio significantly to ensure we build this full-scale, standalone game, with its massive scope and immense world, in a way that fans have come to expect from The Last of Us and Naughty Dog."
The Last of Us: Part II was originally going to ship with a multiplayer element of its own before Naughty Dog scrapped those plans and elected to release a standalone game instead. This is one of many live-service projects in the works at PlayStation, as the company plans to launch 10 live-service multiplayer games by 2026.