Update: Naughty Dog's vice president Neil Druckmann has admitted that it took inspiration from Lotte Kestner's cover of True Faith for The Last of Us: Part II's commercial. Writing on Twitter, he said: "Due to an oversight on our end, she wasn't credited as intended. Our deep apologies, we are rectifying this ASAP."
Kestner appears to have accepted the apology, as she was quick to respond to Druckmann's message: "So proud this music has found a home in such an amazing project. Thanks to Neil, Naughty Dog, and everyone at Sony."
Original Story: Whether it’s accidental or something altogether more nefarious, Naughty Dog can’t seem to escape plagiarism accusations. Whether it’s a subway map or a piece of art on protagonist Nate Drake’s mantelpiece, many of the California developer’s recent releases have courted controversy. And now it appears that The Last of Us: Part II will face the same fate, as the sequel’s commercial has been accused of borrowing from a musician’s original arrangement of New Order’s True Faith.
Lotte Kestner, a Seattle-based singer-songwriter, was alerted to similarities in her version of the track and Ellie’s rendition and posted the following message on Twitter:
You can watch the full-length commercial below, as published by PlayStation this week:
And then compare it to Lotte Kestner's 10-year old take:
There's simply no denying the similarities, and while both are effectively covers of New Order's song, its clear that Kestner's version is a heavily adapted version of the 1987 original. "Your fans seem to have noticed because they're commenting on my old video thinking it's the same song," she said. "Credit? Compensation?"
To be fair to Naughty Dog, it’s unlikely to have had much involvement in this commercial, as it was probably handled by Sony’s marketing team. Legally, it’ll be interesting to see where Kestner stands here; New Order will have definitely received royalties for the commercial, but Lotte can rightly argue that her arrangement has been lifted here. We’ll reach out to the platform holder and let you know if we learn any more.