Matthew Gallant is a game director at Naughty Dog. During his eleven years at the game studio, he’s worked on all of the studio's million-selling and critically acclaimed hits including The last of Us-series and Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End.
Matthew is a part of the FBTB lineup for his co-headed efforts to push the boundaries of accessibility on The Last of Us Part II (2020) – which won several design awards. From the very beginning, the game studio's goal was to ensure that as many fans as possible had an opportunity to experience the game through their most robust accessibility feature set to date – and they delivered.
The game has since its release been dubbed "the most accessible game ever", presenting more than 60 different accessibility settings, allowing unprecedented customisation and fine-tuning for the player.
Accessibility advocates praise the game
Upon the release of the game, YouTuber and accessibility advocate Steve Saylor (who goes by the name "Blind Gamer"), shared his touching experience of launching the game for the first time.
"Y'all don't even know how much..." he says between sobs in his video of the moment, which has now had nearly half a million views.
"I'm sorry. I don't even know what to say."
Courtney Craven, editor of accessibility-focused gaming site Can I Play That, is hard of hearing and has some motor-control issues, and had a similar response.
"The first thing I did upon launching [the game] for the first time was FaceTime a friend and cry," she told BBC News.
After the success, Matthew Gallant went on to direct the remake of the series – The Last of Us Part I – which used PlayStation 5 hardware to expand accessibility in new ways. In his prior work, he’s developed combat encounters, gameplay systems, and NPC AI on Uncharted 4: A Thief's End, The Last of Us (PS3), and Starhawk.
On May 12th he'll be joining us on the stage at From Business to Buttons to share his experiences and knowledge in his talk "Designing Games for Everyone".
The Last of Us on HBO Max
But wait, there's more! On January 16th, Naughty Dog is taking its storytelling to a new format on HBO Max! Together with the producer behind the acclaimed Chernobyl series, we’ll follow Pedro Pascal (The Mandalorian, Wonder Woman 1984) and Bella Ramsay (Game of Thrones) as the game’s characters Joel and Ellie when The Last of Us TV series is presented on screen.