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The Last of Us is PS3’s fastest selling new franchise

Sony said today that The Last of Us has become the fastest selling new “franchise” in PS3’s history. Including both physical and digital purchases, the game cleared 3.4 million sales between its global release on June 14 and July 3, also helping it become the quickest selling PS3 title of 2013, according to the platform holder.

Sony Computer Entertainment Worldwide Studios president Shuhei Yoshida commented: "These sales figures are a testament to the blockbuster quality of The Last of Us. The teams at Naughty Dog are true visionaries and their storytelling capabilities are second to none, this title is an undisputed demonstration of that. SCE continues to be committed to delivering unique gameplay experiences that redefine the interactive entertainment industry and The Last of Us is a perfect example."

On Monday The Last of Us became the first UK all formats chart No.1 of 2013 to retain the top spot for four consecutive weeks, besting the three week runs enjoyed by Bioshock Infinite and Dead Island: Riptide earlier this year. Naughty Dog intends to release three The Last of Us DLC packs, one campaign add-on and two multiplayer ones.

We said in our The Last of Us review: "In terms of everything the modern action game has strived to be, The Last of Us is the full-stop at the end of the sentence, leaving no more to be said. Until next-gen. If this is our starting point for that, then the next five to ten years could be truly amazing.”

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9 comments

  • Redeater - July 10, 2013 12:50 a.m.

    So damn good. I'm really hoping they create another game in this universe. Hands down the best survival horror game of this generation. If you manage to get more than 5-6 bullets on survivor mode you feel like Stalone in The Expendables.
  • BarbwireTino - July 9, 2013 7:43 a.m.

    This is great news. I have really enjoyed this game and would love to see a follow up.
  • BladedFalcon - July 9, 2013 6:17 a.m.

    Well, this is fantastic news of course! I loved the game, and with how things have been lately, it's encouraging to hear when these kinds of games do get the money and love from people that they deserve, not just from critics and a select section of gamers. Also... 3.4 millions in 3 weeks? Where have I heard that figure before and being called "dissapointing"...? OH RIGHT, IT'S ALMOST THE EXACT SAME SALE FIGURE OF TOMB RAIDER. And, while Tomb Raider was a pretty good game of it's own right, in terms of production values, and I'd even go as far as to say gameplay and pretty much anything important, TLOUS blows TR out of the water. So seriously, how come this figure is profitable for TLOUS but not for TR? This is further proof of just how fucking terrible Squeenix has been handling their business.
  • RayPaw - July 9, 2013 9:29 a.m.

    Nobody said TLOUS was profitable. Most observers look at it as a halo project for Sony — something to raise the perception of gaming and the PlayStation brand — rather than a line item on a balance sheet. Yoshida even outright says it's a demonstration of vision and storytelling. I'm sure he won't be complaining if TLOUS turns a profit but profit was not Sony's primary goal in funding this project.
  • BladedFalcon - July 9, 2013 9:57 a.m.

    "Nobody said TLOUS was profitable." Actually.... Yes, yes they did, everyone is saying it in fact: http://www.ign.com/articles/2013/07/09/the-last-of-us-sells-34-million-copies-in-three-weeks "Sony revealing that the PlayStation 3-exclusive has exceeded sales expectations." And never have I even suggested that TLOUS's primary goal was to make money, and I'm glad they didn't create it with that in mind. What I'm saying is that if this game, which pushes the envelop forward in every way and probably wasn't cheap to make, was able to exceed expectations by selling 3.4 million copies, then there's no excuse for that sales figure not being enough for Squeenix's Tomb Raider. Thank you for completely missing the point though.
  • RayPaw - July 9, 2013 11:12 a.m.

    Exceeding sales expectations and being profitable are two different things. TLOUS is outpacing Sony's projections but even at 3.4 million units, it's extremely unlikely this is in the black. (If it was, I'm sure Sony would say so.) I'm also glad that Sony didn't fund TLOUS to strictly to turn a profit on the game itself — it might not have been made otherwise & it is unquestionably a high-water mark for gaming. Unfortunately, the economics of AAA games aren't pretty, as your Squeenix example shows. Tomb Raider is definitely not at the same level of TLOUS in terms of gravitas or impact but it's just as polished; I wouldn't be surprised if they cost about the same. But Sony has luxuries that Square doesn't. Namely deeper pockets & other ways to profit from the success of TLOUS, such as increasing system sales, increasing PS3 game sales generally, and creating a buzz around the PlayStation brand heading into the launch of the PS4. Sony can recoup their investment in TLOUS through those channels even if sales of the game itself aren't enough ... Square needs Tomb Raider to be profitable on its own. What's troubling about Tomb Raider is that's a good game that sold well ... and that's still not enough to justify the resources that went into it. That probably has less to do with Square-Enix being mismanaged and more to do with the market size of "core" gamers ... or more specifically core gamers who will buy single-player narrative games. Hopefully TLOUS will expand the audience enough that these type of games make business sense to people other than consumer electronics giants who want to prove they have the best toys ... otherwise the future for big-budget games at the level of TR and TLOUS looks pretty grim.
  • BladedFalcon - July 9, 2013 12:01 p.m.

    Er... you're having a very narrow view about this. Let me put a bit of extra perspective: Dark Souls, a title that is much more massive in scope and raw content than either TR or TLOUS, and that while not as polished in graphical details, it's definitely still a very beautiful, full fledged game. Sold a little over 2 million copies on all platforms in the span of a year, and yet Namco HAS declared it a wild success, as in, it actually did turn a profit. And while I understand now what you meant regarding the difference between profitability and exceeded expectations. I seriously doubt that Sony would be celebrating as it is if it wasn't making any money back. Also, I'm sorry, but you're wrong if you think Tomb Raider and TLOUS look like they should have cost the same. Simply compare the models, animation and voice acting from TLOUS to Tomb raider. TR's are not bad by any means, but they look clearly inferior to me. So nope, sorry, but I'm not cutting Squeenix any slack here. Aside from their own word, there's really no evidence that proves Squeenix in the right here. Dark Souls is far from the only example either, you have the Metro series and the Castlevania: Lords of Shadow games, both which also look pretty fantastic and are huge in scope and length, and both which were developed with a very small team and a small budget. I'm not necessarily saying that these games are measurable to the quality of tech displayed in TR, but talking proportions, those games did way more with way less. Just one last thing. I'm not slamming Tomb raider itself as a game, or their developers, Cristal Dynamics. It's undoubtedly a fantastic game, and I wanted it to do well. But the fact that it didn't speaks to me that it was solely on Squeenix's part, and their ridiculous expectations and mismanagement of resources.
  • RayPaw - July 9, 2013 1:29 p.m.

    I believe we are in agreement. :-) Single-player games at the scale of a TR (in a budget sense) don't seem to be sustainable and it was a mistake on Square's part to think they would for sure sell 6MM copies (though I do wonder if the TR brand hurt this game more than helped it as far as sales go) ... certainly the smarter approach is modest goals, smaller budgets, solving problems with creativity rather than money, and not backing yourself into a corner where you absolutely *need* a game to be a gargantuan blockbuster in order to keep the lights on. You point out some great examples & I have no doubt we will continue to see quality games made for much less than TR or TLOUS ... and I hope that companies like Sony who can afford to do so continue to take risks on big-budget single-player games.

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