The Last of Us Video Game Creator Neil Druckmann’s Santa Monica Home by Abigail Stone for The Hollywood Reporter
When friend’s send you home tours for a game developer’s home, you know you are surrounded by the right people. These home tours have been a common promotional piece for TV and film. It’s fun to see how others design and utilize their space. But I was still a bit surprised to see Neil get a tour. I think of him as a developer first, not an HBO director and producer.
I remember the first time seeing Neil’s office was during The Game Awards 2020 when The Last of Us Part II won Game of the Year. It’s neat to see the rest of the space. Apparently beforehand, it was all just a white box.
“I was operating out of a white room — this is peak pandemic, peak Zoom — and people kept commenting that it looked like I was in prison,” says Druckmann.
I love the built-in, dark wood desk; although that chair doesn’t look particularly comfortable. And as an avid steelcase collector, I love seeing the test prints hanging on his wall.
He found the transformation enlightening. “It’s funny because I’m so steeped in game and environment design, but for some reason, I never made that crossover to interiors,” he says.
The best home improvement though has to be the bathroom couch.
[Neil] has even come around to the couch Gordon suggested he install in the primary bath. “The kids are always coming in here to brush their teeth, and we’ll just hang out,” he says. “Now I can’t even imagine a bathroom without a couch.”
Regarding the TV show, this quote from Neil stands out:
“My hope is that it completely changes how non-gamers view what games are capable of when it comes to deep narratives,” says Israel-born Druckmann, the show’s co-writer and a director and executive producer.
A huge part of what makes The Last of Us work is how gameplay puts you into the story. Television entirely removes that element. I’m curious to see how that is addressed narratively. How does a moment like the ladder before the giraffes hit in the show?