Naughty Dog “Flat-out Refused” to Change The Last of Us Cover Art
The thought had never really crossed my mind, but the box art for a game could have an effect on some people. I don’t know why I’ve never thought about it, I just didn’t. But two things that happened recently have brought it to my attention. One of them is the hullabaloo about BioShock Infinite‘s cover art and how “generic shooter”-y it is, and the other is the cover art for The Last of Us, specifically where Ellie was positioned on it.
The box art that was chosen for the game has Ellie in the foreground with Joel, the character players will be controlling, in the background. Unless that woman is being used for sex appeal, we don’t see that very often. In an interview with VG247 Ashley Johnson, the voice actress playing Ellie, said this:
“I feel like they don’t put women on the covers because they’re afraid that it won’t sell. It’s all gamers really know – and I don’t want to be sexist by any means – but I get the feeling, generally, that they think game’s won’t sell as well with a woman on the cover, compared to some badass dude on the front.”
Neil Druckmann, the creative director of The Last of Us, agreed with that. He went on to say that Naughty Dog was actually asked to move Ellie to the background so that Joel would be the focus of the cover. According to Druckmann, “everyone at Naughty Dog just flat-out refused.” And it’s great that they did, because I really like the game’s box art.
The Last of Us comes out May 7th, 2013, for the PS3.