Naughty Dog Talks Sexist Pressure For Last Of Us

Need any further proof that sexism inside the gaming industry is a real problem, and that the #1reasonwhy explosion was highly necessary? Look no further than Naughty Dog’s upcoming surefire hit, The Last Of Us.

The Last of Us features the playable character Joel, voiced by Nolan Northput it to GamesIndustry:

“I feel like they don’t put women on the covers because they’re afraid that it won’t sell,” Ashley Johnson, who plays Ellie, told VG247.

“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.”

Creative director Neil Druckmann agreed, and revealed there had been pressure to go for a more traditional, less female look to the retail product.

“I agree with what Ashley said. I believe there’s a misconception that if you put a girl or a woman on the cover, the game will sell less. I know I’ve been in discussions where we’ve been asked to push Ellie to the back and everyone at Naughty Dog just flat-out refused.”

That’s kind of depressing, especially coming so soon after BioShock Infinite’s box art was revealed to be nothing but broey genericness. The good news is that Naughty Dog prevailed, and The Last Of Us will feature both main characters prominently on the cover. Looks like my optimism can remain cautious after all.

CORRECTION: I originally wrongly credited Nolan North as voice actor for Joel. Thanks to everyone for pointing out the error.

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6 Comments on Naughty Dog Talks Sexist Pressure For Last Of Us


On December 12, 2012 at 12:30 pm

A quick correction, Game Front:
The character of Joel is voiced by actor Troy Baker, not Nolan North. This seems to be a fairly common mistake for some reason.


On December 12, 2012 at 12:38 pm

Hey Ross, there is a ton of confusion over whether it is Nolan North or Troy Baker (Kai Leng) voicing the protagonist Joel. Do you know for certain which actor is actually a part of the game?

This Guy

On December 13, 2012 at 2:44 am

Troy Baker is the actor portraying Joel, not Nolan North. Not sure why Goose thinks there is a “ton of confusion” it’s been common knowledge (contrary to this site) for over a year.

Let It Go

On December 13, 2012 at 4:46 am

Keep beating that dead horse, Ross. The rest of us understand that confirmation bias is not ‘proof’ of anything other than your inability to separate your need to come across as progressive from the realities of the industry. Female-to-male sexism exists as well, yet you seem to think that’s acceptable. Trying to turn this into a gender issue isn’t helpful and is frankly tedious.

Ross Lincoln

On December 13, 2012 at 7:56 am

Hey all, my apologies for the error. Stupid of me, and it’s been corrected.


On December 13, 2012 at 10:19 am

Hmmmm….. they are worried if they attempt to be equal and “Fair” to both males and females to a market that is over 90% male they may lose money? Wow.. thats so sexist………………….. not.