The Last of Us on HBO snubbed the original game director from the credits

Joel teaching Ellie to use a sniper rifle in The Last of Us
(Image credit: Naughty Dog)

The Last of Us' original co-game director has spoken about being excluded from the HBO adaptation's credits.

Last week on January 15, The Last of Us TV show aired its first episode on HBO. The adaptation highlighted co-game director at Naughty Dog, Neil Druckmann, as instrumental in the original game's creation, but curiously left out mention of Bruce Straley, who directed the original 2013 game alongside Druckmann.

"It's an argument for unionization that someone who was part of the co-creation of that world and those characters isn’t getting a credit or a nickel for the work they put into it," Straley told The LA Times (opens in new tab) when asked about his credit snub from the series. "Maybe we need unions in the video game industry to be able to protect creators."

Straley worked at Naughty Dog for a colossal 18 years, becoming instrumental in the success of the Uncharted series, before finally collaborating with Druckmann to launch The Last of Us, a brand new IP at the time for the studio. Straley would then work on Uncharted 4: A Thief's End with Druckmann following original director Amy Hennig's departure, but would then leave Naughty Dog shortly after.

As such, Straley ultimately left Naughty Dog years before the studio would collaborate with HBO on The Last of Us, starring Pedro Pascal as Joel Miller, and Bella Ramsey as Ellie. Straley's relationship with Naughty Dog is now described as "strained" by The LA Times, and neither Sony nor HBO have responded to requests for comment regarding Straley's remarks.

The Last of Us will continue to air episodes weekly on HBO every Sunday. Recently, showrunner Craig Mazin revealed The Last of Us series could eventually explore the Seraphites, and other elements not seen in the original game, that made their debut with 2020's The Last of Us 2.

Check out our guide on how to watch The Last of Us TV series online for less, for all the best deals on streaming the new show. 

Hirun Cryer is a freelance reporter and writer with Gamesradar+ based out of U.K. After earning a degree in American History specializing in journalism, cinema, literature, and history, he stepped into the games writing world, with a focus on shooters, indie games, and RPGs, and has since been the recipient of the MCV 30 Under 30 award for 2021. In his spare time he freelances with other outlets around the industry, practices Japanese, and enjoys contemporary manga and anime.