The Last of Us writer and co-director Neil Druckmann recently spoke to GamesIndustry International about the game's development, advancing technology (and subsequent diminishing returns), and lessons to be learned from independent games.
Druckmann said he was "blown away" by recent indie darlings Papers, Please and Gone Home. The Last of Us, in some capacity, basically functions as an exponentially expanded Gone Home, so the infatuation makes sense. Druckmann believes indies are paving the way for change in AAA development, noting, "As more and more examples [of 'gigantic shifts' in storytelling] come to light, I think more people are pursuing better narratives."
Meanwhile, Druckmann warns, "Change is going to happen much more rapidly going forward, and people who don't engage in that discussion, who don't try to appeal to audiences that are coming on, are going to be left behind." I'm all for pushing new avenues and leaving behind tired junk. I also think AAA development can stand to learn a heck of a lot from The Last of Us, which mostly manages to have its cake and eat it too.
The Last of Us dev says AAA can learn from indies [GamesIndustry International]