To cut a long story short, The Last of Us Part II has achieved not only critical acclaim but also, significant financial success. According to Sony, the PlayStation Exclusive game took home over 4 million over the initial three days.
Thus, overtaking the original's sales projections across the same period. Impressive stuff, indeed. That is a big deal. So, here is how it all unfolded. Amidst the highs and the lows, how did Naughty Dog's epic, post-apocalyptic sequel become one of Sony's highest-grossing games and the fastest-selling to date?
Well, it is time we take a deep dive into the post-release world of TLOU2. Here is a rundown of The Last of Us 2 sales so far.
Putting the figures into Perspective
Having reached the four million-milestone, in terms of launch success, TLOU2 sits at the top. And as it stands, The Last of Us Part II exceeds the sales for the same period, of both God of War, which sold over 3 million throughout the first three days, and Sony's smash-hit Marvel's Spider-Man. Which, according to USA TODAY, took home around 3.3 million.
Yet, The real icing on the cake, at least where Naughty Dog is concerned, comes with news that The Last of 2 Part II, eclipsed even Uncharted 4: A Thief's End, which made around 2.7 million in the first week.
So, with all that said, when you size everything up; taking all into account, it is a monumental achievement. Furthermore, perhaps it is a milestone which looked for all intents and purposes, increasingly unlikely on the run-up to release.
The Success of The Last of Us 2 Part II A Big Deal for Sony & Naughty Dog
As you might imagine, this news will delight both Sony. Who can now breathe a vast sigh of relief, alongside Neil Druckmann, Vice President of Naughty Dog and Director on The Last of Us Part II. After having gone through the hardships of development, during the peak of the COVID pandemic.
That, among other issues which arose before the game's release. Those of which acting as further setbacks for the soon-to-be sequel.
In a press release on PlayStation's Official Blog, Neil Druckmann, on behalf of Naughty Dog, gives thanks to fans for their support, and the dedicated work of TLOU2's development team.
"We are so immensely grateful to the millions of fans around the world that have played The Last of Us Part II and shared their experiences with us over the last week. We set out to tell a new kind of story, one that deals with difficult themes and would challenge you in unexpected ways. Hearing how the experience has resonated with so many of you and witnessing the type of thoughtful discussions it has sparked has been so incredible. We've also been so inspired by your creativity — whether it's your gorgeous Photo Mode shots, jaw-dropping gameplay GIFs, or the songs you've recorded using Ellie's guitar, the statement reads. The Last of Us Part II was made possible thanks to the efforts of the hundreds of talented and passionate developers here at Naughty Dog. We can imagine no greater honor than seeing that same passion mirrored by the people playing it. Thank you for helping us reach this amazing milestone."
So, as you can see, some charming sentiments there. But also, a great way to thank the fans. Despite circumstances surrounding the game's release. All in all, I say hats-off to Sony and Naughty Dog for seeing it through in style.
So, what happened before the game came out? Let's find out.
The Last of Us Part II Release Was Not Without Controversy
We all want to see a game release without a hitch, a glitch, or any significant bumps in the road. But sadly, it is never smooth sailing. No matter the game, regardless of status.
On the road to release, The Last of Us Part II was hit by a giant bombshell when large parts of the game leaked online. Following an indefinite delay to release.
First to report the leak was gamesindustry.biz, which was shortly afterwards corroborated by IGN. Confirming that Restera had in operation, a spoiler thread showing off sections of gameplay and cutscenes. Of course, there was plenty of back and forth as to how this got out in the public sphere.
In response, SIE issued the following statement:
"SIE has identified the primary individuals responsible for the unauthorized release of TLOU2 assets. They are not affiliated with Naughty Dog or SIE. We are unable to comment further because the information is subject to an on-going investigation. We're looking forward to when The Last of Us Part II will be in your hands and can't wait for you to enjoy the full experience on June 19."
Shortly after, Video Game reporter Jason Schrier took to Twitter to give his version of the event. Based on his knowledge at the time. In the post, Schrier says that potentially, "hackers found a security vulnerability in a patch for an older ND game," then, "used it to get access to ND's servers."
So, a sad situation, for sure. I am happy to see the experience has still not spoilt for millions of players. Let's not forget, the game has gone on to be a critically acclaimed, financial success, despite those pre-release leaks.
Congrats to Naughty Dog
I am not a developer, but I cannot imagine how difficult it must have been, for Naughty Dog. By that I mean, to see core elements of the game exposed in such a way, right before release. Must have been heart-breaking. Whichever side the blame lies, I feel for them. The actions of those that did it, I could never personally condone.
Most of those that I have interacted with on Reddit seem to speak highly of the game, as do I.
Honestly, I am happy to finish off this article without dropping any spoilers! That is a win in my book.
But what do you think? Did the Last of Us Part II exceed your expectations? Does it live up to the insane levels of hype? Let us know your unique impressions in the comments.