During the making of The Last of Us, developer Naughty Dog "flat-out refused" to move Ellie — one of this title's two central characters — to the back of the game's cover art, during discussions over whether female-led game covers sell fewer units, creative director Neil Druckmann told VG247.
According to Druckmann, the idea that female-led game covers are less marketable is simply a misconception.
"I believe there's a misconception that if you put a girl or a woman on the cover, the game will sell less," he said. "I know I've been in discussions where we've been asked to push Ellie to the back and everyone at Naughty Dog just flat-out refused."
This follows recent discussion over the box art for Irrational Games' upcoming Bioshock Infinite. Studio co-founder Ken Levine recently stated the box art, which depicts a generic looking protagonist, gun and burning flag, is designed for those who are not familiar with the series and therefore aren't hardcore fans.
Druckmann added that while the team approached the characters of Ellie and Tess in as believable a manner possible, he was not influenced by recent industry dialogue regarding the portrayal of women in games, stating these topics shouldn't affect the writing of a game.
"I tried not to be mindful of too many outside influences, which is things like the industry, and how women are portrayed," he said. "I believe that should not affect a person's writing. It's about trying to find core truths in your story, and then letting that be the driving force."
The Last of Us hits PlayStation 3 on May 7, 2013.