The Last of Us Part II’s cinematic trailer plays the cover of a cover, but could it really land them in any legal trouble? | Source: YouTube/PlayStation

  • Singer-songwriter Lotte Kestner has accused Naughty Dog of copying her music in The Last of Us Part II trailer.
  • The song in question is a cover of New Order song True Faith released in 1987 to which Kestner added parts absent from the original.
  • The similarities between the songs have reportedly led fans to confuse the two.

There’s new trouble brewing for Naughty Dog’s highly-anticipated upcoming The Last of Us Part II.

Singer-songwriter Lotte Kestner claims that the music in Naughty Dog’s most recent trailer for the game bears an uncanny resemblance to her cover of  New Order track, True Faith.

Naughty Accused of Replicating Cover In Latest The Last of Us Part II Trailer

Kestner took to Twitter to voice her concerns, explaining:

@[email protected]_Dog hey are you aware that the true faith cover you put in your last of us 2 trailer is a replica of my cover that came out 10 yrs ago? I wrote original parts not in the original song that are copied exactly by whoever covered it. I am heartbroken.

Kestner has accused Naughty Dog of copying her cover. Source: Twitter

The new trailer, launched yesterday ahead of the game’s release on June 19, features protagonist Ellie performing a cover of the popular New Order song. The cover soundtracks Ellie fleeing from a horde of infected only to encounter an armed contingent of enemies.

Glaring Similarities

If we listen to the two songs, the similarities are apparent. Both Kestner and Naughty Dog’s versions are a notable departure from the far more upbeat, synth-laden, four-to-the-floor pop anthem released in 1987 by Joy Division offshoot New Order.

While Kestner’s rendition is already a cover – which complicates the accusation – it appears that the trailer includes parts attributed to her version absent from the original song. In particular, styled vocal embellishments in Lotte Kestner’s version appear replicated in the trailer.

As Kestner explains:

at 3:30 in my song in particular is the vocal part that i wrote which is featured in your trailer exactly.

According to the American musician, The Last of Us Part II fans have even commented on Kestner’s cover pointing to similarities and, in some instances, believing the two songs to be one and the same.

From a legal standpoint, it’s unclear if Lotte Kestner has any recourse. Naughty Dog’s version is essentially a cover of a cover, and we imagine the developer obtained a license to use the song directly from New Order.

It will be interesting to see how Naughty Dog and PlayStation respond to the accusations.

This article was edited by Samburaj Das.

Last modified: June 4, 2020 1:34 PM UTC