Controversy Brewing Over Naughty Dog’s ‘The Last Of Us’; Ellen Page’s Likeness, Stolen Transit Map Design

By June 25, 2013

Here we go again, kids.

Two days ago, actress Ellen Page (Juno, Super) was the latest to take part in a Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything) session in promotion for her latest film, The East, and when asked about the visual similarities between her and Ellie (character in Naughty Dog’s latest PS3 exclusive, The Last Of Us), Page (who is currently working on Quantic Dream’s Beyond: Two Souls, also a PlayStation exclusive) responded with:

“I guess I should be flattered that they ripped off my likeness, but I am actually acting in a video game called Beyond: Two Souls, so it was not appreciated.”

Okay, I’ma play “devil’s advocate” for a minute…

Photo courtesy of Ars Technica

Honestly, I find the whole thing RIDICULOUS and rather presumptuous of Page when she and the voice of Ellie (Ashley Johnson) could play sisters in any movie they wanted.

I thought it was Page, too, but once I read the Game Informer feature spread about the game before its release, it only took a couple minutes to realize it wasn’t her. It really irks me that nearly NO ONE has actually even credited or TALKED about Johnson (who was Chrissy Seaver in Growing Pains as well as in Joss Whedon’s latest Much Ado About Nothing) for her part in the game since Page’s AMA.

And as much as I love Ellen Page (Hard Candy was an AMAZING film), this is all BS and a disservice to BOTH of these amazing women and the game in general.

Source: Cameron Booth

Then YESTERDAY, artist and map-making enthusiast Cameron Booth (@TransitMap) took to his Twitter and Tumblr and gave Naughty Dog quite the tongue-lashing for using his map without his permission.

On Twitter, Booth said in a conversation “did ND (Naughty Dog) design the map? No. Do they have the right to use it because they “found it on the Internet”? Absolutely not…the design of that map is intellectual property that belongs to the designer (me, in this case)” and he has “documented provenance” of said map dating back to February of last year.

On this, I side with Booth. As CEO of Girl Gamer, I can tell you our founder and former CEO (also known for Kogi BBQ’s branding and “The Kogi Effect”) paid a pretty penny for our logo. And yes, if you google Girl Gamer, our logo pops up several times but it doesn’t mean you can use it for your own site or company…as Maxim quickly learned last year.

Maxim held a RIDICULOUS “Gamer Girl” contest and thought they’d tweaked it juuuuuust enough that no one would notice, that is until a trusted colleague from Nyko Technologies tagged me in a Facebook photo of said logo followed by SEVERAL executives and colleagues from vg studios and companies also messaging me with the same pic.

Once I posted this side by side and called out Maxim for this BS on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, they changed the logo within days without so much as a “My bad,” but we are talking about Maxim…the intelligence scale isn’t a high standard there.

Fast forward to 1:00 pm this afternoon when Booth updated his Tumblr saying he’d “just spoken with Naughty Dog over the phone in a very constructive conversation. Can’t say more at the moment, but it seems as if matters will be resolved to everyone’s satisfaction shortly. I can say that they do acknowledge their error in using my map and were very apologetic for it. I likewise apologised for my initial vitriolic post. A lot of mutual respect for each other’s creative work.”

Sounds like at least that part of the controversy is being worked out, but I just wonder when we can start talking about the ACTUAL GAME again.

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Cricket Lee
Star Wars fangirl. Named Best Kisser by Time Magazine. CEO/Host: Girl Gamer; host of Gecken: GeekNation; writer: Dread Central. You'll have a crush on me soon. Vote Quimby. Twitter: @crixlee