The Last of Us co-creator Neil Druckmann posts interview transcript to clarify an interview answer, teases new game and answers questions on artificial intelligence

The Head of Studio at Naughty Dog recently made an X post where he uploaded the transcript of an answer he gave during a Sony interview and it’s not the same one he gave in the published interview.

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Table of Contents:

Neil Druckmann’s actual interview answer

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Neil Druckmann, the Studio Head and Head of Creative at Naughty Dog (the guys who made Uncharted, The Last of Us, and Jak and Daxter), recently had an interview with Sony where he mentioned that the next game his studio was working on “could redefine mainstream perceptions of gaming.” That’s nice and all, but there’s one problem: Druckmann never said this in the first place.

After the interview was made available to the public, Druckmann uploaded an X (formerly Twitter) post to explain what he’d actually said. “In editing my rambling answers in my recent interview with SONY, some of my words, context, and intent were unfortunately lost. Well, here’s the full long rambling answer for the final question about our future game.,” wrote the Studio Head.

The question Druckmann was asked was about any personal vision or dream project that he would like to work on and release at some point. Druckmann responded by saying that he was already lucky to work on multiple dream projects of his and that he was currently working on another project. He says this is the most excited he’s been and cannot speak about it at the time the interview took place.

Druckmann went on to say that back then, video games were seen as something children enjoyed, but are for everyone today. He hoped that non-gamers who saw The Last of Us TV show would realize that games were more than just children’s entertainment and hoped that the show would be well received.

Druckmann wanted viewers to fall in love with the show’s story and characters and to realize they were based on a video game, thereby getting them to “check out the game and just see the wealth of narratives and everything that’s happening with games.” The Studio Head also cited the Amazon Prime Fallout show, saying that it exposed viewers who were unaware of the experiences video games provided.

He said that with more people realizing that video games provide “incredible moving experiences,” he felt excited to see how the world would react to it, as non-gamers who saw The Last of Us show were now interested in seeing Naughty Dog’s next project. “I’m very excited to see what the reaction to this thing will be – and I’ve already said too much about it. I’ll stop there.,” said Druckmann.

Neil Druckmann and AI

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He also caught flak online for what he said about artificial intelligence (AI). In response to a question about how storytelling and technology would evolve in the next decade, Druckmann said that AI was going to “revolutionize how content is being created,” but said that AI also came with some ethical issues that needed addressing. He added that AI would help cut costs, reduce technical hurdles, and let Naughty Dog “take on more adventurous projects and push the boundaries of storytelling in games.”

When asked about advice he had for new creators in gaming, TV, and film, the Studio Head emphasized “mastering fundamentals over tools,” and that with AI, “your creativity sets the limit.” He went on to say that AI will allow Naughty Dog to expand their creative possibilities as well as let them “create nuanced dialogues and characters,” and added that it was critical to “precisely direct these tools to achieve the intended outcomes.”

This hasn’t gone down well with the gaming public and game developers, with the general sentiment being that AI would not substitute actual creativity and many do not like the answers he gave. Some have even mentioned that they wouldn’t be surprised if The Last of Us 2 (which Druckmann worked on as the writer and creative director) was written using AI like ChatGPT.

Back in December 2023, Naughty Dog announced that their multiplayer game set in The Last of Us universe was no longer being worked on. Naughty Dog clarified why they were doing this, writing that they realized they would need to put all of their resources into releasing and supporting their multiplayer title for many years, which would impact the development of their future single-player games. They decided to focus on the latter and mentioned developing more than one single-player game and that they’d share more when they were ready. As of writing, it isn’t known what Naughty Dog is working on.

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