Naughty Dog creative director Neil Druckmann once feared that The Last of Us would "review poorly", and was unsure about how well it would be received by consumers.
"The thing when you do a new IP is that you really don't know. You hope for the best and fear the worst, as cliched as that sounds," Druckmann said in the latest issue of Game Informer.
"It depends on when you asked me during production. If you had asked me a few months out, I would have said that we were going to review poorly and I don't know how it's going to sell. As we got closer to finishing it, it felt like it was coming together. I remember going into E3, and I was telling [game director Bruce Straley], 'I don't think it's going to be received well.' I get Uncharted – it's got that summer blockbuster feel. It's got the spectacle. Here, it's got this very different, intimate feel to it. There are long stretches where there isn't much action and I don't know how gamers are going to relate to that."
But rather than worrying about the game's reception, Druckmann instead focussed on making the game they wanted to play.
"The thing that Bruce and I always said was, 'Let's make the game we want to play. Let's do a game that isn't out there. It will be the game we want to play, and that's the idea guiding us.' That's all you can really do and hope people will get into it."
The risk paid off, of course. The Last of Us is the highest rated game of the year so far, earning a Metacritic of 95, and the PS3's fastest-selling new IP.
Druckmann's comments form part of a larger interview with Game Informer, where he discussed the team's original vision for the game's characters and ending. Beware of spoilers before you click the link.
Source: Game Informer | September Issue