Most video games released a decade ago are gathering dust on shelves, but The Last of Us is unlike most games. Launched on the PlayStation 3 in June 2013, then on PlayStation 4 13 months later, The Last of Us is enjoying a surge in sales, thanks to the popularity of the HBO adaption of one of console gaming’s all-time greats.
The premier of The Last of Us series hit screens on January 16, 2023, and saw 4.7 million viewers on the first day. Twelve days in, some 22 million views were recorded, prompting HBO to renew for a second series without much thought. The show has been a massive hit for those new to the story and seasoned fans of the game. Many of those viewers have flocked to stores and bought digital copies of the game, judging by a massive spike in sales. The Last of Us Part 1 saw a 238% surge in sales week-on-week seven days after the HBO show aired. Sales of The Last of Us Remastered increased 322%.
HBO’s adaption of one of the greatest video games ever is a hot favorite at the leading online sportsbook Bovada LV to clean up at the next television awards. Only six of the scheduled nine episodes of season one have aired at the time of writing, with Season 1 wrapping up on March 13. Anyone who has both watched the series and played the game knows the producers have plenty to cram in over the next three trios of episodes.
Why is The Last of Us Series So Popular?
Television adaptations of video games tend not to work. There have been dozens over the year, either video games turned into TV shows or movies, and almost all fall flat on their face. Sony Pictures Television, PlayStation Productions, Word Games, Mighty Mint, and Naughty Dog have worked wonders to create a series that remains true to its roots but has some creative freedom to delve deeper into storylines.
Reports suggest Naughty Dog has been instrumental in the show’s visual, audio, and pacing. Having the game’s makers on board is a master stroke. There are enough hat tips to the game, such as Ellie telling random jokes, the famous and funny magazine scene, and various locations that look like they’ve been ripped straight out of the game.
Naughty Dog stated they did not want the series to be full of action but rather create a gritty, atmospheric survival drama. It helps that the game’s story is one of the best ever written, but the input of Naughty Dog is there for all to see, and long may it continue.
Then there is how the show gives more backstory to the game. It does not matter to those who have not played the game that the show let us know more about Bill from the game’s Bill’s Town chapter, but to those who have, these backstories make everything more magical.
Lastly, most of the game’s fans are delighted with the way the HBO show has altered scenes to add more excitement and pizzazz to the series. Without giving away any spoilers, the ending to Episode 5 is not in the game, but boy, was it spectacular and would not have looked out of place in a Triple-A title.
What Next For The Last of Us Series?
Anyone that has completed the game knows what to expect from the remainder of the series, but what is in store for the confirmed second season? Naughty Dog has previously stated it needs two seasons to make a series about The Last of Us Part 2. Will it continue in the same vein? Will they make a show based on the DLC The Last of Us: Left Behind? Or perhaps they will let us know what happened in the 20 years before the start of the mutant Cordyceps fungus outbreak and the beginning of the original story. Whatever they decide, we are confident it will be compelling viewing that drives even more people to the video games, and that bringing more people into gaming is never wrong.