In 2011, Uncharted 3 players noticed what is now known to be an Easter Egg for Naughty Dog's upcoming survival game, The Last of Us — a slip that nearly spoiled the studio's surprise and was entirely their fault, Kotaku reports.
The Last of Us was officially unveiled in December 2011 at the Spike Video Game Awards. Speaking with Kotaku, creative director Neil Druckmann and game director Bruce Straley explained that the reveal for The Last of Us, which Naughty Dog worked on in secret, was initially planned for June of that year. By the time Uncharted 3 launched in November, it would already be common knowledge.
Of course, that didn't happen.
Uncharted 3 was released with the Easter egg still in-game, which Naughty Dog had completely forgotten about. The nod took the form of a newspaper found in the corner of a bar with a headline reading "Scientists still struggling to understand deadly virus."
"We should have taken it out," Druckmann told Kotaku. "We screwed up."
"These games are so big, right," Straley added. "They're several hours long. Every single pixel has to be touched. Every animation is created from hand. It's overwhelming. You can't look over every detail. So this one little thing in the background, nobody's thinking about that."
Despite The Last of Us' viral marketing at the time, however, no one guessed that the typically one-game studio was behind the new title.
"We don't know how it happened, but everyone was like, 'It can't be Naughty Dog, because they just shipped Uncharted 3,'" Druckmann said.