‘The Last Of Us Part II’ director on fan hate: “That’s their reaction and you don’t fight that”

“When you're doing something big, and you might disappoint fans, there is a cost to it now,” says Neil Druckmann

The Last Of Us Part II director Neil Druckmann has revealed that he doesn’t see any reason to fight with fans and gamers about their anger over the recently released game.

During a new podcast episode with ex-Nintendo of America boss Reggie Fils-Aime, Druckmann touched on the topic of dealing with fan hatred towards him, the Naughty Dog team and the game’s actors. Over the course of the episode, Druckmann explained why he chooses not to engage with the flood of hateful comments on his social media pages.

“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,” Druckmann said. “That’s their reaction and you don’t fight that.”

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“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,” he added, supposedly commenting on the hatred that actress Laura Bailey has received for her portrayal of new character, Abby.

“We have an actor, 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.”

He also recognised that the hate will likely spill over to HBO’s upcoming TV adaptation of the first game, and that he has spoken to the series frontrunner Craig Mazin about the topic.

“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.”

The Last Of Us Part II is out now exclusively for PS4. Last month, it was revealed that the game became the fastest-selling PS4 exclusive of all-time, with 4 million copies sold on opening weekend.

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