Just Like That, The Last Of Us' Hidden Phone-Sex Numbers Are No More

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.

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 favourite 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, for making that "mistake" and accidentally inserting two phone-sex numbers right next to one another.


Comments

    I'm glad the screenshot is still available on Kotaku because I forgot to jot the numbers down. ;)

    On a serious note, I wonder if it was an intentional Easter egg by the artists and Druckmann realized that there could be potential legal and reputation issues with having those numbers there.

      The "555" bit usually indicate fake numbers in films and TV: in the past, those numbers were never allocated in the US, so were safe to use in fiction. I guess that changed at some point.

        I always thought that it was numbers starting with 555. Whereas these are 800 numbers - some of which may have 555 in them. I wouldn't be surprised if the devs called a few random 800 - 555 - XXX numbers till they hit a couple that were sex lines and then added them in as an Easter egg.

          The 800 part is the area code portion of a US number. Looking at wikipedia, it sounds like they started allocating these numbers around 1994, which would explain why people would still think of them as unallocated.

          http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/555_(telephone_number)

        Chief Wiggum: "555.....Thats gotta be a phony. "

    Who actually took the time to ring them?

      People *always* check numbers/web addresses referenced in movies/games, etc. in case there's some additional secret or ARG associated with it.

      Nowadays any time a web address is mentioned in something, the producers register it just to prevent it being taken and potentially abused by someone else.

        It's the same reason IP addresses in TV shows have numbers above 255. It's the same level of protection as the 555 in phone numbers.

    I question people who see a phone number in a TV show or a game and call it.

      Yet it is incredibly common, thus the need for fake numbers like the movies use that start with 555.

    Texture actually looks better now. The other one looks a little too in tact considering the state of the world...

      "How do we fix this controversy!?!"

      "I know, lets throw some urban decay, post apocalyptic all over that!"

        If only more people troubled shooted that way. :P

          I've been trying to get 'WWFOD' into popular usage, but it just isn't sticking.

    but seriously, why bother? every developer might as well go get rid of any phone number out of any of there games now because in one country it might be a sex line

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