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Neil Druckmann Refutes Recent “Redefine Gaming” Interview Quote, “This Is Not Quite What I Said”


UPDATE 29/05/2024: Sony has removed its interview with Neil Druckmann entirely, claiming that it held more inaccuracies, including Druckmann’s thoughts regarding AI, saying the interview did not “represent his perspective and values.”

This development means we can’t take anything from that interview beyond Druckmann’s unedited answer below at face value, and should disregard his comments on AI that caused much ire unless Druckmann himself says otherwise.

Original Story:

Last week an interview between Sony Corporation and Naughty Dog studio head Neil Druckmann was the source for plenty of chatter regarding Druckmann’s words.

Along with claims that AI is key to the future of storytelling within games, Druckmann is quoted as saying that Naughty Dog’s next project would be immensely impactful in the games industry, to go so far as to “redefine” it.

“I’m eager to see how this new game resonates, especially following the success of The Last of Us, as it could redefine mainstream perceptions of gaming,” is what he’s quoted as saying. Over the weekend, Druckmann addressed this comment, and published what he says is the full transcript of what he actually said.

“This is not quite what I said,” Druckmann began in a tweet. “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…”

You can see the full question from the interviewer and Druckmann’s answer, below.


“Thank you. When I think about this question, I couldn’t really obviously think of an answer. Like I mean, there are all these technologies out there. But I couldn’t really imagine like what the future can be. But obviously now I have a clearer vision I guess. Yeah.

So I guess this is going to be my last question. As we discuss future innovation, is there like a personal dream vision or dream project, you hope to see realized in the realm of entertainment at this point?”

Neil Druckmann

“Well, I’ve been very lucky in that I’ve already had that. I got the chance to make several of my dream projects. I am working on a new one right now. And it’s maybe the most excited I’ve been for a project yet. I can’t talk about it or our bosses will get very mad at me. And I guess in general, there is something happening now that I think is very cool.

Which is there’s a new appreciation for gaming that I’ve never seen before. Like when I was growing up, gaming was more of a kid’s thing. Now it’s clearly for everyone. But it’s like, if you’re a gamer, you know about the potential of games, and non-gamers, they don’t really know what they’re missing out on. But my hope was, when we made The Last Of Us as a TV show that we could change that.

And why I became so involved with it. I wanted so badly for it to be good, because I wanted this to happen, which is like someone who will watch the show and really like it. And fall in love with those characters the way that we have fallen in love with those characters and their story. And then realize at the end, ‘wait, that’s based on a video game?’ and then go and check out the game and just see the wealth of narratives and everything that’s happening in games.

So now I feel like there’s kind of a spotlight on gaming. And you know, Fallout just came out. And that’s a big success for Amazon. And I find that really exciting. Not because games need to be movies, or they need to be TV shows, but I think it just kind of opens the eyes of a bunch of people that just weren’t aware of the kind of experiences that exist in games.

I think right now we’ve hit a tipping point where it’s about to take off where people realize, ‘Oh my God, there’s all these incredible moving experiences in games!’ So, I’m not only excited for this game that we’re making – and it’s something really fresh for us – but I’m also excited to see how the world reacts to it. Because of The Last Of Us, and the success of the show, people even outside of gaming are looking at us to see what it is that we put out next.

I’m very excited to see what the reaction for this thing will be – and I’ve already said too much about it. I’ll stop there. So, you’re asking me for my dream projects. I’ve been very lucky to have worked on my favourite games with incredible collaborators and I’m very thankful for them.”

It’s clear from Druckmann’s full answer that plenty of context was missing, and that he didn’t actually even say the things the original interview says. In the nicest way possible, Druckmann is showing how Sony put words in his mouth.

At time of writing the interview has yet to be updated or changed on Sony’s end, to reflect Druckmann coming out with what he actually said.

It’s also worth noting that Druckmann hasn’t made the same claim that he was misrepresented regarding his words on AI, which arguably earned him more ire from game developers and gamers than his claims about Naughty Dog’s next game doing anything to “redefine” how games are viewed.

Source – [Neil Druckmann on Twitter]