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Naughty Dog apologizes for using artist’s song without credit

Naughty Dog has apologized for failing to credit an artist’s work in a recently released trailer for The Last of Us Part II.

In a tweet on Tuesday, June 9, Naughty Dog vice president Neil Druckmann formally apologized to artist Lotte Kestner for failing to credit her as inspiration for a rendition of the song True Faith that lead character Ellie sang in a The Last of Us Part II trailer. Druckmann called it an “oversight” and said it would be fixed.

“We hope that Lotte Kestner receives the recognition she deserves,” Druckmann said.

Later on Tuesday, Sony and Naughty Dog published an update to the trailer, which depicts Ellie singing the song in the background while gameplay footage is shown. The update properly credits Kestner and includes a link to her music portfolio.

The song True Faith was originally recorded by the band New Order, but Kestner covered the track more than a decade ago. The version Ellie sings in the trailer closely matches how Kestner sang it, prompting the outcry.

After the trailer was released on June 3, Kestner quickly caught wind of its release and posted a scathing tweet that was since deleted.

“Hey, are you aware that the True Faith cover you put in your Last of Us 2 trailer is a replica of my cover that came out 10 years ago?” she said. “I wrote original parts not in the original song that are copied exactly by whoever covered it. I am heartbroken.”

Several of Kestner’s fans joined her in criticizing Naughty Dog, but the developer remained silent on the controversy until Tuesday.

In a tweet posted Tuesday, Kestner thanked Druckmann, Sony, and Naughty Dog for acknowledging their mistake and making it right. She added that she was “so proud this music has found a home in such an amazing project.”

The Last of Us Part II comes out June 19 for the PlayStation 4. The game takes place five years after the conclusion of the first title in the series. This time around, Ellie and Joel are living with other survivors when Ellie embarks on what Naughty Dog calls “a relentless journey to carry out justice” in what has become an increasingly dangerous post-apocalyptic world.

Don Reisinger
Don Reisinger is a freelance technology, video game, and entertainment journalist. He has been writing about the world of…
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