The Last of Us: Part II, for lack of a better phrase, has pissed some people off. Whatever your opinion on the game – and you’re welcome to share your impressions in our full spoiler discussion – we’d like to hope you were able to express yourself without resorting to posting personal insults on the Internet. Unfortunately, many can’t resist the opportunity to be aggressive, obnoxious, and downright disgusting – and it’s something Naughty Dog vice president Neil Druckmann has discussed as part an interview with ex-Nintendo boss Reggie Fils-Aime.
“I think you have to create some separation to say, we made this game, we believe in this game, we're proud of this game, now it's out there and it's like whatever reaction people have – whether they like it or not – that's fair. That's their reaction and you don't fight that,” he started. “The other thing with the more hateful stuff, the more vile stuff, that's a little harder. It's especially harder when I see it happening to team members or cast members who play a particular character in the game.”
Druckmann continued: “We have an actress, she's been getting really awful, vile stuff because of a fictional character she's playing in the game. I just have a hard time wrapping my mind around that. The thing I try to do is just ignore it as much as I can. When things escalate to being serious, there are certain security protocols that we take and I report it to the proper authorities. Then you just try to focus on the positives and focus on distracting yourself with other stuff. But it's kind of just the reality.”
It's a topic that Druckmann has been discussing with Chernobyl writer Craig Mazin, as the pair work on an HBO adaptation of the franchise. “He articulated it pretty well: it's like people have to get educated. 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.”
From our perspective, it’s exhausting seeing the Internet so angry on a daily basis. Clearly there's a wide spectrum of opinions all pertaining to The Last of Us: Part II, and it’s a positive thing that the game has stirred such a strong response. The vitriol is pure toxic, though, and there’s simply no need for it.