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The Last of Us Part 2 actor outlines how far the industry's female representation has come

The Last of Us Part 2
(Image credit: Naughty Dog)

The Last of Us 2 voice actor Laura Bailey says female roles within the game industry have transformed over the past decade.

Speaking on the Good Game, Nice Try podcast, Bailey - who recently portrayed Abby in Naughty Dog's latest - said: "I think we're finally at a point where technology is able to back up the stories. With something like The Last of Us, it can be so much more than running around and picking up loot [...] I have seen a lot more roles coming up that are fully realised."

Bailey went on to add: "Lately, what I think is so great is that so many companies have started...it's not about bad-ass women, it's about bad-ass characters, and it can be a woman. And I think more developers are realising that." Bailey goes on to reference a conversation with another voice actor, Troy Baker, "about how frustrating it was in this industry at the time to be a female and only have roles come up so rarely that actually were fully-fledged people. And it was hard for him to understand, because for him it was a given that that's the type of toles that he would get to play. And I was always the wife, or the sidekick, or the chick you're rescuing, it was really frustrating. So to see the progression just in this last decade, of the amount of roles offered to females, it's been pretty phenomenal."

Bailey says that progress is a big part of the success of The Last of Us. Referencing one of her first roles, as Rayne in the BloodRayne series, she talks about how sexualised female characters used to be, and that "it's great to have characters now that are not super-sexualised, and Abby and Ellie are not, and that's what makes them such great characters, because they can just be human."

The Last of Us 2's characters helped make it one of the best PS4 exclusives out there.

Ali Jones

I'm GamesRadar's deputy news editor, working with Ben T across our gaming news articles. I started my journalistic career while getting my degree in English Literature at the University of Warwick, where I also worked as Games Editor on the student newspaper, The Boar. Since then, I've run the news sections at PCGamesN and Kotaku UK, and also regularly contributed to PC Gamer. As you might be able to tell, PC is my platform of choice, so you can regularly find me playing League of Legends or Steam's latest indie hit.