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The Last of Us' Hidden Phone-Sex Numbers ‘A Mistake,' Will Be Removed

Illustration for article titled emThe Last of Us/em Hidden Phone-Sex Numbers ‘A Mistake, Will Be Removed

The Last of Us has plenty of easter eggs; some of them goofy, some sly. And one of them, a little bit naughty.

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Last week a tipster sent in a photo taken from the game depicting two phone numbers on a bulletin board in Pittsburgh, both of which he said were phone-sex hotlines. I called them up and, sure enough, they were real. Ha, right? Good one, Naughty Dog!

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Well, not really, as it turns out. I asked the game's creative director Neil Druckmann about the phone numbers, and how they got into the game.

"That was an artist's mistake," he said. "What happened was, they put some phone numbers in the game and then they thought they could just change the area code to 555, then it's invalid because it's what they do in movies. But I guess that doesn't work when you have a 1-800 in front of it.

"We're now working to take it out," Druckmann said. "It was just an honest mistake."

Aw. Well, we'll always have Fahey's recording of the greeting for 1-800-555-2545:

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DISCUSSION

"Take it out?"

This ability is simultaneously the greatest benefit and the greatest harm of our digital/patching age.

I like that programming errors can be altered if they slipped through testing or were just told "ship it" despite knowing it existed and planned to patch it later.
I DON'T like that a single "controversy" can have my game experience altered to suit the whims of others. That they're going to alter the content on my game retroactively via my console connection to remove something that may or may not have actually been an issue, like when the devs from Little Big Planet reached into my game and took away a song I actually liked.