Last Of Us 2 Director Reflects On Leaks And Why He Hopes Haters Play The Game

Neil Druckmann speaks about the leaks and says the very people yelling the loudest about the game could benefit the most if they actually play it.

The Last of Us: Part II writer and director Neil Druckmann has reflected on the leaks of the much-anticipated game that's finally launching on June 19 for PS4 (check out the new TLOU2 launch trailer). Speaking to Eurogamer, Druckmann summed it up succinctly. "They sucked," he said of the leaks.

Druckmann said it was disappointing that something he and his team worked so hard on for so long made its way into the public ahead of time, but it wasn't uncharted territory for Naughty Dog. The ending to the original Last of Us game also leaked, while robbers stole a truck carrying copies of Uncharted 4, and spoilers leaked online. Leaks might be sad and unfortunate for the developers, but Druckmann doesn't sound too worried because nothing can compare to getting your hands on the game itself.

"That didn't take away from anything at the end, because nothing compares to playing it," Druckmann said of the leaks of Naughty Dog's earlier games. "Nothing compares to being Ellie and feeling those moments, not just in cutscenes, but in gameplay, conversations, the music and the emotional effect that has on you. And the story was constructed in such a way that it's really not about twists and turns. It's about slowly ratcheting the crank and feeling the tension with the choices the characters make."

"We know once people get their hands on it, they're going to feel what it is we're after whether they've seen it or not, and that's that's what made us confident. Okay it's going to be uncomfortable for a while, the games gonna be out there, and I think you're going to get what we want you to get out of it."

The leaks for The Last of Us: Part II also led to even further controversy surrounding Ellie's sexuality and diversity in general. The people yelling about this are exactly the ones who could benefit from playing the game and expanding their horizons, Druckmann 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," Druckmann said. 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."

Druckmann continued: "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 people 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 full interview is very in-depth and touches on a number of other elements of The Last of Us: Part II, including its extreme violence and gore. Go read it here at Eurogamer. Separately, Druckmann discussed crunch at Naughty Dog and the prospect of making The Last of Us Part III or something else next.

The Last of Us: Part II launches on June 19 for PlayStation 4 before heading to the PlayStation 5 later this year alongside thousands of other PS4 games. GameSpot's The Last of Us: Part II review will go live on June 12, but ahead of that, you can check out our recent preview, which is linked below.

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