Sony pulls interview with Neil Druckmann, citing ‘significant errors and inaccuracies’ - 3 minutes read

Sony Interactive Entertainment has pulled a controversial interview with Neil Druckmann, head of The Last of Us developer Naughty Dog.

Last week, Sony published a (now archived) Q&A with the Last of Us creator about the “Evolution of Storytelling.” In the interview, Druckmann spoke about the role of AI in game development, the impact of new technologies on storytelling, advice for new creators, and his hopes for a dream project.

Since such interviews with high-profile, AAA creators are relatively rare, news outlets picked up the interview, focusing on Druckmann’s comments about generative AI. Regarding AI Druckmann said:

“Moreover, AI is really going to revolutionize how content is being created, although it does bring up some ethical issues we need to address. With technologies like AI and the ability to do motion capture right from home, we’re reducing both costs and technical hurdles, opening the door for us to take on more adventurous projects and push the boundaries of storytelling in games.”

Druckmann also expanded on other uses for AI, saying, “AI will allow us to create nuanced dialogues and characters, expanding creative possibilities. However, it’s crucial to precisely direct these tools to achieve the intended outcomes.”

Additionally, Druckmann shared his aspirations for future games, expressing excitement for Naughty Dog’s next project: “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.”

However, his comment about “redefining mainstream perceptions of gaming” is what appears to be the cause for Sony pulling the interview. Shortly after Sony published the Q&A, Druckmann wrote on social media stating that he had been misquoted.

“In editing my rambling answers in my recent interview with Sony, some of my words, context, and intent were unfortunately lost,” he posted on X sharing his full, unedited comments.

A few days after making this statement, Sony announced that rather than add Druckmann’s clarification, it had removed the interview entirely, stating, “[We] have found several significant errors and inaccuracies that don’t represent his perspective and values (including topics such as animation, writing, technology, AI, and future projects).”

Although some media outlets did focus on the potential of Naughty Dog’s latest project “redefining gaming,” it was Druckmann’s comments on AI that caused the most backlash. The use of AI in creative spaces like video game development has caused a lot of controversy with concerns that the technology has the potential to exacerbate the already depressed video game labor market. Notably, the clarification Druckmann posted didn’t include any mention of AI while Sony’s retraction statement did.

Source: The Verge

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