Naughty Dog’s Vice President Neil Druckmann has responded to misconceptions about The Last of Us Part II, particularly surrounding its diversity. Speaking to Eurogamer, Druckmann said that a number of vocal people seem to think that the studio is trying to score “diversity points” but that’s not Naughty Dog’s modus operandi at all.
According to Druckmann, diversity makes for a “better” story with “fresher perspectives.” He believes that players will understand this when they get their hands on the game.
He further said:
We made a journey with Ellie, and Ellie is who she is. It’s been defined in the previous game. We’re going to continue going forward. She’s now 19. How do we explore all the facets of what it’s like to be 19? You think you’re invincible. You think you know what’s right and wrong in the world. You are sexually attracted to people you’re attracted to. Those are all things we want to explore for this character – that’s how we do honest storytelling.
So if you somehow have a problem with that, well, then that sucks, but the story’s gonna win for us. It’s ironic or maybe sad – I think that the people that will benefit the most from this kind of story are the ones that are yelling the loudest right now, but I hope there’s enough in the game to draw them in and just normalize stuff that is normal. It is part of our society and it is part of owning up to an interesting nuanced character.
The Last of Us Part II will release on June 19th.