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Naughty Dog removing The Last of Us' accidental phone sex number

Naughty Dog's inspired environments for The Last of Us wowed us in our review, but its impressive little details just keep getting the developer in trouble. First it was an unofficial Boston transit system map used without permission, now it's phone numbers on a fake pest control poster which actually belong to a phone sex line and Bahamas cruise contest.

Naughty Dog told Kotaku that the live numbers---800-555-2545 and 800-555-6784 if you're curious, and yes, we did call them ourselves--were a simple misunderstanding on an artist's part.

"What happened was, they put some phone numbers in the game and then they thought they could just change the area code to 555, then it's invalid because it's what they do in movies," creative director Neil Druckmann said. "But I guess that doesn't work when you have a 1-800 in front of it."

Naughty Dog is now working to remove the not-so-fake numbers from the game. It's kind of a shame for main character Joel, the apocalypse does get awfully lonely...

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Naughty Dog

23 comments

  • brickman409 - July 1, 2013 12:01 p.m.

    that is kind of hilarious
  • garnsr - June 29, 2013 8:07 p.m.

    This was discovered by someone seeing a phone number in a game and trying it out, I'd guess, which is an entirely reasonable thing to do when you see a number in anything. I'm just surprised no one at Naughty Dog has that same urge to see what a phone number does, especially since they're releasing a game with it.
  • TheFabricOfTime - June 28, 2013 9:22 a.m.

    Wow, there's a lot of strange stuff in this game.
  • PatHan-bHai - June 28, 2013 1:23 a.m.

    What the hell is wrong with the journalists (not you GR) and squinty-nerds of this world. You got a great game but then you go ahead and fuck it all up because *GASP* a Mature rate has a phone-sex number in it. I can see people suing Naughty Dog for God knows how much cash just because they got some free advertising. The fuck is wrong with the law nowasays?!
  • Jet - June 28, 2013 12:57 a.m.

    No big deal
  • ZeeCaptain - June 28, 2013 12:29 a.m.

    When will it end? People need to stop nit picking this stuff, I mean this will just lead to us scouring other videogames and finding lawsuits abundant.
  • GOD - June 27, 2013 2:08 p.m.

    I don't understand the issue. It's an M rated game. If anything if a parent were to complain it would just show how they bought their child an M rated game without understanding what that means.
  • Terrorrizor - June 27, 2013 2:20 p.m.

    The issue is that they put a real phone number into the game when it was supposed to be a fake number.
  • Redeater - June 27, 2013 2:28 p.m.

    What is the problem though? It was a mistake. Do you seriously think the owners of this number are concerned about having this type of exposure? Most entrepreneurs would dream of this scenario. As for the "sexual content"......don't even try to kid me. It's found in an M rated game that has some of the most foul language and brutal realistic violence ever created. Hell, I played through it 3 times and never noticed the number. People have to go OUTSIDE the game to even access the dumb thing. Stupidity at its best.
  • Ronnie-_- - June 27, 2013 2:52 p.m.

    The problem is they used a legitimate phone number for two real-life businesses without permission. It has nothing to do with one of them being a phone-sex line. You're missing the point.
  • Sliet - June 27, 2013 3:24 p.m.

    It's horrendous that they got blessed with this free advertising on a top selling video game indeed.
  • larkan - June 27, 2013 4:28 p.m.

    ....so they gave those numbers some free advertising, regardless of whether or not they are phone sex lines. How many times have you had a random 800 number call you or your place of work with spam? I'm ok with them getting some back.
  • Redeater - June 27, 2013 4:57 p.m.

    No you're missing the point. If you think they would have had the exact same reaction if it were a service center for used air conditioners....you're dreaming. As for "trouble", welcome to the American justice system. If you honestly believe a phone sex company would have a chance against a corporation as big as Naughty Dog/Sony.....I envy the pleasant fiction you reside in.
  • AqueousBoy - June 27, 2013 11:21 p.m.

    No, they still would have removed the numbers. It's a legal liability for Naughty Dog. That's why they intended to put fake numbers in to begin with - it doesn't matter who the phone numbers are for, if they're legit, their legal team shits a brick.
  • Terrorrizor - July 16, 2013 11:15 p.m.

    Well the real problem is that when you take something from something like that you could get sued for not getting permission or for, allegedly, making money off of it. It's not likely, but still, they gotta cover their bases y'know?
  • Redeater - June 27, 2013 11:58 a.m.

    Naughty Dog *creates one of the finest, most mature games ever made. Game Journalists *"This obviously fake number is a sex line. Let's create articles complaining about it so they have to change it." God help us when the children figure out they can dial a 3 letter adjective followed by a 4 letter sex part......and they are ALL four letters. 1-800-WET-ANUS
  • Redeater - June 27, 2013 12:11 p.m.

    Damn, we had better start protecting those 10 year old angels who are constantly calling me things like N^&ger, f&g, c@nt....and one time all three in a single breath....... :)
  • Terrorrizor - June 27, 2013 2:21 p.m.

    That's not why they changed it, they might actually get in trouble for putting in a real phone number without permission.
  • BladedFalcon - June 27, 2013 11:27 a.m.

    Okay... if there was one person, or a group of persons in charge of researching, or making all those peripheral items or props for the game, they are going to be in serious trouble... and deservedly so, honestly. I mean, all those maps and numbers and shit are completely meaningless for the game, they are just there to enhance immersion, but you could have just made your own numbers and maps up, or at least properly modify the assets you did take and copy. I really don't see how you can screw up something as simple as that >_>
  • AqueousBoy - June 27, 2013 11:08 a.m.

    Only 555-0100 through 555-0199 are reserved for film use. I used to do clearances on films and TV and had to deal with this all the time. Even then, I think they changed it so there's literally only one number clear tor 800 lines.

Showing 1-20 of 23 comments

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