The Last of Us is one of the best story driven games of our time. It influenced many other titles and inspired writers to be more daring. It focused on characters and was so successful in creating an emotional bond with its players.
But did you know? the original concept was rejected many times.
Neil Druckmann is the man behind The Last of Us. It was his story, his idea, and Sony provided the tools and freedom to built it. Explaining the Origin of The Last of Us, Neil said:
..the inception of it was back in Carnegie Mellon, back in Pittsburgh where George Romero lived.
One of Neil’s professors knew John Romero and they set up a project. Students were asked to pitch ideas to Romero. The selected concept was to be turned into a prototype. Romero rejected Neil’s idea of a zombie game featuring a cop who lost his daughter. Along the way he meets a teenage girl and they travel across the country.
Origin of The Last of Us
George Romero picked a totally different idea so that was this project’s first failure. But then I was so intrigued with this concept that I thought maybe it could be a graphic novel. I spent like a year writing out this six issue miniseries with art. I was going to draw it myself.
I pitched it to a couple publishers and it was rejected. Then at some point when I was at Naughty Dog and I was successful enough — we just did “Uncharted 2,” which was a critical and commercial success beyond anybody’s expectations, including our own. Then when we were given the opportunity, do whatever you want. The sky’s the limit. I said, well I have this story sitting over here that was initially conceived as a game then went to this comic. But let’s start with this. Then Bruce and I would start talking about, well what would be the arc for these character
Sony trusted his idea and The Last of Us turned out to be one of the best games in history. We are now eagerly waiting for its sequel that is believed to be under development.