Sony pulls fabricated 'interview' with Naughty Dog head Neil Druckmann

"AI will allow us to create nuanced dialogues and characters, expanding creative possibilities," said maybe no one.

Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Last week, Sony published a seemingly innocuous bit of fluff, touting its long-term "creative entertainment vision" in broad terms, along with some interviews of key employees. Neil Druckmann, studio head of Sony's Naughty Dog, was one of those — and his interview made waves in the game world. According to the interview, Druckmann said AI could "create nuanced dialogues and characters" and also said that the new game Naughty Dog was developing (but hasn't officially announced) "could redefine mainstream perceptions of gaming." Some mighty strong and potentially controversial statements from the head of a studio beloved for its The Last of Us and Uncharted franchises.

Problem is, Druckmann was wildly misquoted by his own employers. A few days after Sony published its interview, Druckmann took to X and said "this is not quite what I said." He then went full Ellie-in-revenge-mode on Sony, posting a section of the original interview transcript. (He was actually pretty polite if we're being honest — even the powerful can only bite the hand that feeds so hard.) Regardless, things here do not add up.

Gaming reporter Stephen Totilo shared his own comparison of what Druckmann said and what Sony published, bolding the words in Sony's answer that Druckmann never said — and those words were the majority of the quote. Sony basically put words in his mouth and published them, kicking off a classic gamer freakout.

To be fair, if I was Druckmann, I'd be pretty pissed too. Look at this butchery!

Now, five days later, Sony has removed the interview from its site entirely. However, they didn't just delete the page — they left it up with an apology to Neil and the Naughty Dog team "for any negative impact this interview might have caused."

My favorite bit is easily this:

In re-reviewing our recent interview with Naughty Dog's Neil Druckmann, we have found several significant errors and inaccuracies that don't represent his perspective and values (including topics such as animation, writing, technology, AI, and future projects).Sony

So everything he said about animation, writing, technology, AI and future projects had errors. Hey, at least they nailed his name and title.

For the morbidly curious, you can still read the "interview" on archive.org.