Update: Naughty Dog has spoken out against the tidal wave of hate speech that has surrounded The Last of Us: Part II since launch. On its official Twitter account, the studio said that it encourages critical discussion but that it condemns harassment and threats. Here's the studio's statement in full:
Director Neil Druckmann has also spoken out about some of the vile messages he's received. As is the case with the comments sent to Laura Bailey below, these make for difficult reading so just be aware of that.
Original Story: The industry has leapt to voice actress Laura Bailey’s defence after she revealed some of the hate messages she’s received since the release of The Last of Us: Part II. The star – who plays the character Abby – has been the target of vile abuse, as a small but vocal contingent of the gaming community continue to struggle with the sequel’s story.
Bailey’s tweet is included below, but please be aware that its content can make for difficult reading:
The industry has since sent lots of love in Bailey's direction, with co-star Ashley Johnson – who plays Ellie – penning a particularly poignant response: “I love you Laura Bailey. Your performance in the game was an absolute revelation and it transformed me. It was an honour to be on that stage with you. So much love and adoration.”
While the response to The Last of Us: Part II has been overwhelmingly positive, the story hasn’t sat well with everyone. One group started a petition to get the plot rewritten, while director Neil Druckmann has been a constant target since sensitive details leaked. Discussing the backlash earlier this week, he explained: “This is kind of the cost. When you're doing something big, and you might disappoint fans, there is a cost to it now. Which is, you're going to get a certain level of hate, a certain level of vitriol that you just have to deal with. There is no other way to make it go away.”
In unrelated but loosely connected news, PlayStation has temporarily suspended its activities on Facebook and Instagram, as major corporations launch a battle against online hate speech.