Naughty Dog has called out a Swedish games mag for its presentation of The Last of Us on its cover.
A recent edition of GameReactor contained an image of co-protagonist Joel standing over a felled enemy. However, as pointed out Naughty Dog game's creative director Neil Druckman on Twitter the original art sent over to the magazine pictured both Joel and co-star Ellie.
A magazine removing the female co-lead to focus only on the weapon-yielding male? You can imagine the reaction online.
But amidst the sea of controversy that quickly enveloped the magazine, Kotaku reports that GameReactor's Petters Hegevall said that “the decision was an aesthetic one, based both on the fact Ellie's ‘layer’ in the image file was of a lower resolution than the rest of the image, and that by removing her the cover not only looked better, but gave them the perfect spot for a headline”.
Which, in all fairness, is exactly the sort of decision that has to be made every day in print publishing, sometimes at the expense of wider concerns.
Naughty Dog previously revealed that it had to fight da man to get Ellie a starring role on the game’s cover as some feared it might detract from the game’s sales.
Which it didn’t. The game debuted at No.1 in the UK this week, becoming the third fastest selling title of the year and one of the most successful new IP launches of recent times.