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Naughty Dog forced to request female focus testers

Original The Last of Us research group was men only

Naughty Dog's creative director has revealed that the company had to demand that women were included in focus testing for The Last Of Us, after the research company presented them with only male testers.

"Another aspect that influences how a game is promoted is focus-testing. Players are rounded up and are asked to view materials and answer some quantitative and qualitative questions about it," Neil Druckman explained to The Escapist.

"My big surprise during this process is that the research group wasn't planning on focus-testing female gamers - it's something we had to specifically request. I hope this is a relic of the past that will soon go away."

Naughty Dog recently faced a similar battle over inclusivity when it came to packaging for the post-apocalyptic title, after the company was asked to push lead character Ellie to the back of the retail box.

"I believe there's a misconception that if you put a girl or a woman on the cover, the game will sell less," said Druckman in December.

"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."

The Last Of Us is due for release on PS3 in June.

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Rachel Weber

Senior Editor

Rachel Weber has been with GamesIndustry since 2011 and specialises in news-writing and investigative journalism. She has more than five years of consumer experience, having previously worked for Future Publishing in the UK.