Naughty Dog has put their collective foot down about the box art for The Last of Us — Ellie is to stay on the front.
A woman? On a video-game cover? Quelle horreur! Sadly, that's been the attitude in the industry: covers need to be "generic dudebro". It's certainly been backed up by Irrational Games' creative director Ken Levine's rather candid discussions about the wildly disliked cover art for Bioshock Infinite, and why it was needed to "appeal to a wider audience".
But Naughty Dog, never strangers to a little trend bucking, are, well, bucking the trend with the cover art for The Last of Us.
Speaking with VG247, Naughty Dog's creative director Neil Druckmann 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.
It's a great interview with both Druckmann and Ahsley Johnson, who voices Ellie in The Last of Us. Go have a read.