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The Last Of Us Remake Avoided One Of Naughty Dog's Biggest Controversies

Whether players wanted it or not, "The Last of Us Part 1" is almost here. The remake aims to redeliver a modern classic that's less than a decade old — and that hasn't sat entirely well with all fans. Many have questioned differences between original and PS5 versions of "The Last of Us," asking whether the already impressive game really needs an overhaul. Additionally, certain character alterations and "glow ups" have left fans divided. The whole thing has instilled some onlookers with the feeling that a remake for "The Last of Us" at this point is nothing more than a way to churn out a few extra bucks, but an animator working on the game has already fired back at such "cash grab" claims.

Thankfully, there's one aspect where it seems like Naughty Dog is unquestionably doing the right thing: crunch. At this point, it's no secret that Naughty Dog has a storied history with crunch culture, leading to employees working long and brutal hours in service of perfecting the company's games. Following the release of "The Last of Us Part 2," things got worse for Naughty Dog as its crunch practices becoming a focal point in the public eye. However, now it seems like the team's latest project is coming together without the need to force employees to burn midnight oil. 

Naughty Dog employee says Last of Us remake made without crunch

Commenting on Naughty Dog's tweet announcing that "The Last of Us Part 1" had already gone gold, Naughty Dog's Principal Environment Artist Anthony Vaccaro said, "This is the first time in my 13 year career, across multiple studios that I didn't need to crunch to finish a game. Feels good, really good." Vaccaro's comments were met with praise by the majority of the Twitter community, with many fans happy to hear that Naughty Dog may have heeded the lessons learned during production of "The Last of Us Part 2." Vaccaro's initial tweet also went on to claim that the remake would hit the same quality as the 2020 sequel, all without the need for crunch.

Of course, Vaccaro can't speak for the entire team, something the artist recognized in later comments. Responding to another user who inquired whether the removal of crunch extended to all teams, Vaccaro said, "Yeah certainly can only speak for myself but its been great to see all the changes form the top on down to address things. The perfect project to test a lot of things out." And though Vaccaro can't speak for the entirety of Naughty Dog, it sounds like considerations have been made at the top of the organization and are leading to some beneficial changes for employees. It's impossible to say whether crunch has been eliminated entirely, but it's good to hear Naughty dog is apparently making strides to learn from its past mistakes and improve.