PlayStation Defends Violence in Last of Us Part II and Detroit Trailers

“The Last of Us Obviously Is a Game Made by Adults to Be Played by Adults”

PlayStation delivered quite the show at this year’s Paris Games Week, kicking off the event with a new IP in the form of Ghost of Tsushima and ending with The Last of Us Part II. But it’s the latter half of the event that had people questioning the brand’s stance on abuse. Specifically, they’re questioning the trailers for Quantic Dream’s Detroit and Naughty Dog’s sequel.

The trailers in question contain scenes of graphic violence against women and implied infanticide. Obviously, the sight of a woman pinned and attacked by a hammer didn’t sit well with critics. While no one is accusing developers of promoting such violence, critics abhorred its use to sell video games.

Jim Ryan, president of Sony Interactive Entertainment Europe and president of Global Sales and Marketing for Sony Interactive Entertainment, defended the trailers. He played host to PlayStation’s showcase at Paris Games Week and had plenty to say on the matter.

Speaking in an exclusive interview with The Telegraph, Ryan said the following:

“The Last of Us obviously is a game made by adults to be played by adults. I should never prejudge this but it will probably be rated 18, I think it’s fair to say. And there’s that market for those people who like that sort of game. Adults who like that sort of game. And I think we cater for that, and at the other end of the spectrum there was Concrete Genie, which my eight-year-old decided was the game she would like to play very much.

“I think a platform holder provides a platform and the people who make games, whether they’re our own studios or third-party publishers, they bring the content to the platform. We provide the platform. We have to ensure the right content is played by the right people – of appropriate ages in particular. I thought The Last of Us Part 2 was a great way to end the show and I feel very good about it.”

Maybe, there was a different way to preview story content at Paris Games Week. At least, that seems like an alternative that would have sedated critics. But Ryan explained the difficulty of putting together a game trailer: “I think what we’re trying to do is to portray qualities of the various games we had on show. And I think it is difficult when you have a clip of four or five minutes to synthesise a gameplay experience that can be measured in the tens of hours.

“And, again, the studio was seeking to portray a game that will be rated as suitable for adults to play and that’s what we did.”

Ryan was then asked whether it was right for PlayStation to show The Last of Us Part II trailer. While he couldn’t speak for Naughty Dog’s intentions, he replied, “I do. Yeah, I do.”