Renowned magazine removes Ellie from The Last of Us cover, offers clarification

In a world where people can be offended by some of the most bizarre things that we get to hear, it’s not hard to imagine the backlash that one of Europe’s biggest gaming magazines must have received when they cropped out a female protagonist in a video game cover.

GameReactor’s Swedish team did exactly that, and then had some explanation to offer to not just the internet community, but also to Neil DruckmannThe Last of Us creative director.

The photo that you see above is the actual photo that Naughty Dog sent to GameReactor. But when the magazine came out, this is what people saw:

Ellie was missing, and that didn’t go down too well. I guess GameReactor realized pretty quickly that they were playing with fire. Consequently, they released a statement on their website explaining the move.

This was a design question. We felt Ellie looked like she was a cut-out in the original picture and was lit strangely compared to Joel. She looked… just a little bit off. So we took that layer out – which was possible since Naughty Dog left her as a moveable layer. In the end it made for a more clean and stylish cover.

In the end, we did a Army of Two cover without Salem, A Jak & Daxter cover without Daxter, A Super Mario Bros U cover without Luigi and a Ratchet & Clank cover without Ratchet. It’s choice in design. Nothing else.

That sounds reasonable, but the internet community has already come up with an alternate cover (below).

What do our readers think of this?