Naughty Dog wanted to "change the industry" with The Last of Us

Neil Druckmann says his ambition for Ellie was to create "one of the coolest, non-sexualized female" protagonists and influence the industry at large.


Naughty Dog wanted to "change the industry" through its presentation of a "non-sexualized" female protagonist in The Last of Us, creative director Neil Druckmann has said.

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Druckmann--who became a father during the development of The Last of Us--said it was no accident that Ellie was designed the way she was.

"I had this secret agenda," he said during a recent talk at the Toronto chapter of the International Game Developers Association attended by The Verge. "I wanted to create one of the coolest, non-sexualized female video game protagonists. And I felt that if we did that, there's an opportunity to change the industry. I know it sounds pretentious, but that was my goal."

Druckmann is bullish on the potential for AAA games with non-sexualized female protagonists to become more commonplace, and more commercially successful, in the future.

"I feel like AAA games… we're on this cusp of at the very least seeing strong, non-sexualized female protagonists starring in games," Druckmann said last week. "You're going to see a lot more of those, and a lot more that are commercially successful."

Naughty Dog's most recent game was The Last of Us, which was released exclusively for the PlayStation 3 in June. The developer is currently working on an undisclosed PlayStation 4 title.

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