Naughty Dog removing real-world phone-sex numbers from The Last of Us

Developer says phone numbers in postapocalyptic game an "honest mistake" and will be removed.

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Naughty Dog has pledged to remove real-world phone-sex numbers spotted within the developer's latest game, The Last of Us.

Image credit: Kotaku

A Kotaku reader spotted a bulletin board from the game's virtual Pittsburgh that includes two phone numbers for "Pest Control." However, these numbers are not Easter eggs, but rather real-world phone-sex hotlines.

"That was an artist's mistake," creative director Neil Druckmann said. "What happened was, they put some phone numbers in the game and then they thought they could just change the area code to 555, then it's invalid because it's what they do in movies. But I guess that doesn't work when you have a 1-800 in front of it."

"We're now working to take it out," he added. "It was just an honest mistake."

The Last of Us was praised upon release earlier this month exclusively on the PlayStation 3, but the game has not been without its share of controversy.

Inception and Juno star Ellen Page accused Naughty Dog of "ripping off" her likeness for the game's Ellie character. In addition, an artist lashed out at the developer for reportedly using his redesigned MBTA map in The Last of Us without compensating him.

Discussion

522 comments
saminsingh
saminsingh

@Apastron I thought the exact same thing. It looks like a very clever ploy by Naughty Dog. Not that the game needed any hyping up coz its really awesome anyway. But having these kind of lil' controversies going on gives you free media coverage and saves a lot of advertisement money. They seem to have found the perfect balance too... not overly controversial that you may get sued yet controversial enough to grab some headlines. Now there's a good naughty dog!!

talkcasual
talkcasual

Ellen Page does not appreciate ND using her home number without permission

axelx666
axelx666

So here's the big question..HOW did they find out it's for a phone-sex hotline?

i mean did somebody ACTUALLY call those numbers to see if they would work?

im really curious about this/

johnnyjh89
johnnyjh89

what level are these Sex numbers in? i beat the game 3 times and never noticed this LMFAO 

johnnyjh89
johnnyjh89

This game is awesome,  Sex, zombies, and trophies  

Spiritwolf99
Spiritwolf99

....So there are people actually calling every phone number they find on video game posters?

SecretHimitsu
SecretHimitsu

People are really bothered by this sort of thing?  A game where you can watch zombies being bloodily slaughtered and people are worried about some phone sex numbers?  WTF is wrong with people??? 
Sex is natural, why are so many people afraid of it?

keyb0red
keyb0red

I've heard of product placement in games, but this ... this sex line thing ... it's unacceptable!!!

BAD DOG!

Unfallen_Satan
Unfallen_Satan

I didn't know toll free numbers could lead to phone-sex hotlines. This is  an irrelevant though actually interesting bit of info.

Apastron
Apastron

Like I said in the previous two Last of Us 'controversy' articles, Naughty Dog knew that after a couple of weeks it would lose media attention, so they inserted a few things that wouldn't take effect until a couple of weeks after, keeping the game being spoken about and reminding people like me that they still haven't bought it yet.

Must get onto Amazon at some point...

ForceofNature9
ForceofNature9

Is it me or is the "controversy" in the Last of Us over the stupidest shit ever?

zombiecraze158
zombiecraze158

Naughty dog, do us all a favor , stop being so apologetic and don't listen to people who actually complain about stupid things, seriously toughen up!

Evan0605
Evan0605

I love how GameSpot wastes time on the site by posting shit articles like this. Eddie seems to always do this. All they have to do is patch it. If the game is laggy in spots, patch. If the wrong art asset was used, patch. If bugs occur like freezing, wall hacks, etc. patch. Stop wasting the news section with shit articles like this.

tuzem2
tuzem2

Ahaahhahahaha I don't know what the fuss is all about. I find this rather funny :D if it is a secret marketing strategy, it is genius! :)

CrouchingWeasel
CrouchingWeasel

So fucken what? It's not a game that any parent with 2 brain cells to rub together would let their kids play anyway.

DMND
DMND

Rip-off knows no bounds.

JimmeyBurrows
JimmeyBurrows

Why remove it? it's clear the only people who knew were people who knew about the sex phonelines anyway... lol. What a waste of time.

SnakeEyesX80
SnakeEyesX80

Who the hell dials phone numbers you find in games!? Wow. lol

Dirk_McHardpeck
Dirk_McHardpeck

Well with a name like Naughty Dog this really shouldn't surprise anyone

vivalatour
vivalatour

I won't be able to contact my girlfriend now and she'll probably start talking to clickers ?

Hurvl
Hurvl

Real-world phone-sex hotlines?Oh, Naughty Dog, you...umm, naughty... dog.

Veetor0_0
Veetor0_0

I think the pervert, is the guys who tried to call these phone numbers.

ck10304
ck10304

@axelx666 Well yeah that seems likely, or they just googled them

Timmy_Gwar
Timmy_Gwar

@Spiritwolf99 Yeah, I just cant help but imagine the WoW nerd from South Park. When I found actual easter eggs as a kid, I did not go to the farm at which they where produced to tell them that someone was wasting their eggs by colouring them.

Timmy_Gwar
Timmy_Gwar

@Apastron I don't think that's realistic. They stand a big chance at losing a lot of money in legal fees. Not to mention settlements and the money to pay programmers and worldbuilders to systematically locate and remove all of this stuff.

I just don't think it's a fiscally sound derision.

Timmy_Gwar
Timmy_Gwar

@ForceofNature9 Yeah, you would think a sex hotline would be happy for the massive amounts of lonely "indoorsy" people that just got sent their way.

Just shows that abusing the legal system is the quickest way to make the most money. Sadly. Where is "Don't Sue People Panda" when he is needed the most?

Timmy_Gwar
Timmy_Gwar

@Evan0605 I won't speak ill because the guy does a decent enough job and I certainly read the articles. But it's getting to the point where you can tell it's one of Eddies once you've read the title. That is if you haven't already assumed that a large portion of the front page doesn't have his name on it anyway.

It's a little too much, and I usually see the story on Reddit first, just saying.

ForceofNature9
ForceofNature9

@Evan0605 

GameSpot  has been pretty much trolling the Last of Us since they gave it an 8.0.

axelx666
axelx666

@MrHatnClogs  isn't that line from CatDog?

if im not mistaken..i mean i swear they did something like that.

JimInPT
JimInPT

@snkcapcom411ol' Ellen does seem like an awfully self-centered indieit.  Get over it, honey, you're a one-note player.

SecretHimitsu
SecretHimitsu

@REDDSouljah420 @SecretHimitsu As an extension of our natural need for sexual expression, yes it is; and I support it wholeheartedly although I do not 'utilize' it myself (I have a beautiful young Wife who is more than happy to fulfill my desires).  
To tell you the truth I support a human beings right to do pretty much anything so long as it isn't harmful to themselves or others.  Who are we to decide based on our subjective reasoning what is 'right' or 'wrong' for another person?  So long as nobody is being hurt (against their will, I personally enjoy a good spanking now and again) psychologically, physically or otherwise, then enjoy yourself doing whatever the heck you want to, regardless of 'legality' or another person's beliefs.
That being said, out of respect for other people, if we know that something we are doing is going to be make somebody else uncomfortable we should carefully weigh whether or not our actions will have a positive or negative effect on their experience and whether or not we are willing to challenge their viewpoint of reality in order to fulfill our own desires.  

'So harme ye none, do as thou wilt.' - the one Law that transcends our subjectivity and tolerates all of our rights to personal self-expression regardless of our differences in beliefs, while still respecting that basic tenet that Humanity should strive towards a peaceful resolution at all times.  Unfortunately for many, this is easier said then done.  Subjective ideas of what exactly constitutes 'harm' differ between personalities based on creed, religious belief and various other principles, and many other people just are not willing to play 'nice' no matter what benefit this may have for the World at large;  So those of us with a degree of understanding have to exercise caution in our recognizance of what the term may entail for other peoples as well as ourselves, at least if we are going to move forwards with any degree of success in utilizing such an expression pragmatically to live a better and freer life.  

TL;DR  Any kind of sex is all good as long as you aren't hurting anybody by doing it.

axelx666
axelx666

@Darkangel2154  i haven't played it either..my reason is because IM BROKE.

just spent my last money on Shogun 2.

Darkangel2154
Darkangel2154

@Veetor0_0 @dragonkantus you still haven't played BioShock Infinite? Even after it went on sale multiple times lol Great game so idk why your waiting. Same with The last of us also a very good game.