Two episodes in, and everyone is crazy for The Last of Us. We’re not just talking about the television series; the video games are also seeing an impressive uptick in sales.
HBO’s adaptation of The Last of Us, the popular PlayStation franchise, is already on track to be one of the best shows of 2023. Viewers that have never played the games before are taking a chance to dive into the source material, resulting in a surge of sales for the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5 releases.
The rise in sales coincides perfectly with the January 15th debut of The Last of Us on HBO. Not only is the show the second-largest HBO with 4.7 million viewers, according to Deadline, but the debut is the highest-rated pilot ever on IMDB.
The second episode also saw another increase in viewership, according to Deadline. 5.7 million people tuned in, an increase of 22%. This makes it the best new show for HBO since House of the Dragon in 2023.
Comparatively, the pilot numbers for The Last of Us double the season two debut of Euphoria (2.4 million).
The Success of the HBO Show Is Translating to the PlayStation Games
According to GamesIndustry.biz, The Last of Us Part I for PS5 saw a 238% spike in video game sales compared to last week. Additionally, the PS4 release, The Last of Us: Remastered, saw a 322% jump in sales.
Initially released for the PlayStation 3 in 2013, The Last of Us is a landmark achievement in gaming from developer Naughty Dog. It occurs in a post-apocalyptic world where a fungus has infected human hosts. It stars Joel, a grizzled survivor hired to smuggle 14-year-old Ellie, who may be the key to humanity’s survival.
After its PlayStation release, it was remastered twice. Once for the PlayStation 4 (The Last of Us: Remastered) in 2014 and again for the PlayStation 5 (The Last of Us Part I) in 2022.
A sequel, The Last of Us Part II, was released on the PlayStation 4 in 2020. Despite mixed reactions from fans, it’s just as critically acclaimed as the original.
Series creator Neil Druckmann, a veteran at Naughty Dog, is the co-creator of the HBO series alongside Craig Mazin. Mazin is best known for his work on the HBO limited series Chernobyl.
The Last of Us Is Shaping Up To Be One of the Best Shows of 2023
The Last of Us series defies the odds as both a successful video game adaptation and a remarkable achievement in storytelling. Our review of the first season states that fans will be “over the moon with how it turned out. While there are some slight changes, nothing affects the overall story being told to the point where fans will not recognize it.”
A combination of staying true to the source material while changing things up for a new medium works wonders. The second episode delivers an iconic scene from the games while diving deeper into the outbreak’s origins. It’s also our first chance to see the Infected Clickers on screen.
With the show’s success, many wonder what the future holds for The Last of Us. The series has only two games, meaning source material is limited. Mazin assures fans that he won’t let the show overstay its welcome.
Druckmann mentions the possibility of more stories to tell, but Marzin says they “have no plans to tell any stories beyond adapting the games. We won’t run into the same issue as Game of Thrones since Part II doesn’t end on a cliffhanger.”
The Last of Us stars Pedro Pascal, Bella Ramsey, Anna Torv, Gabriel Luna, Nick Offerman, and Merle Dandridge. New episodes air Sundays on HBO and are also available on HBO Max.