Shortly after The Last of Us came out, we discovered something pretty funny. On a bulletin board in Pittsburgh hung a sign with two phone numbers for "Pest Control." But if you called those numbers in the real world, you got phone-sex hotlines.
(Since I've seen enough people wondering about this in the comments on past posts, let me just say: God bless the people who go through games and movies trying out every background phone number. You're the reason America is great.)
Last week I asked The Last of Us creative director Neil Druckmann about the phone numbers, and he told me they were "an artist's mistake," and that Naughty Dog was working to remove them in a game update.
Last night when I booted up the game, it downloaded the 1.02 update. According to the patch notes, in addition to some multiplayer stability tweaks, this patch would change the phone number on a bulletin board. Whatever could they be talking about?
After updating, I headed on through to Pittsburgh to check the bulletin board. (Which, if you want to find it, is at the base of a flight of stairs right after you meet Henry and Sam.)
Lo behold, the numbers had been disfigured and were no longer legible. It was as though some angry clicker or hunter attacked the board, frustrated at his inability to connect to his favorite phone-sex operator.
For posterity, here's the original bulletin board:
And here's the edited one that's now in the game:
And so, one of the more humorous easter-eggs in recent video-game memory is no more.
This "artist's mistake" brought us no small amount of amusement, so thanks, artist, whoever you are, for accidentally inserting two phone-sex numbers right next to one another. You, too, are the reason America is great.
(Note: I originally ended with a crack that implied I thought that the phone numbers were intentional. I've softened it a bit, since I was really just making a joke and I take Naughty Dog at their word.)