The Last of Us television series is off to a great start, with the premiere episode attracting 4.7 million viewers in the United States on its first day. This makes it the second-largest debut for HBO since 2010.
HBO's new post-apocalyptic series "The Last of Us," adapted from a PlayStation game, is a smash hit. This is symptomatic of a larger shift in the entertainment world, where videogames will increasingly inspire popular movies and television series.
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The Last of Us television series is off to a great start, with the premiere episode attracting 4.7 million viewers in the United States on its first day. This makes it the second-largest debut for HBO since 2010. After about a week, around 18 million viewers had watched the first episode. The show tells the story of a smuggler and a teenage girl in a zombie-infested imaginary U.S.
The Last of Us television series has been a hit, with Sony selling more than 37 million games since the first one came out in 2013. The show is apparently attracting new game players too, with sales jumping in the UK after the launch, according to industry website gamesindustry.biz.
As streaming services and movie studios scramble to find the next big hit, videogames are emerging as a more and more promising source of material. That's because videogames come with a built-in fan base. In fact, the global game market is now worth more than the cinema movie market. Industry tracker Newzoo reports that the game market was worth $184 billion in 2022. Mobile games make up around half of that, but even console gaming generated $52 billion in revenue last year. That's bigger than the global cinema market. Even before the pandemic, worldwide box office revenue was only $43 billion in 2019, according to Comscore.
Videogames have become increasingly skilled at telling immersive stories, with many games now driven by compelling narratives and well-written characters. This is something that Hollywood has been tapping into for a while now, with adaptations of comics (like Disney's Marvel Cinematic Universe) and blockbuster novel series (like HBO's Game of Thrones). And newer generations are growing up with videogame stories and characters in a manner reminiscent of comic series for generations past. The Last of Us franchise has been around for nearly 10 years, and for some fans it has been a part of their lives all the way through adolescence.
Sony, which co-produced the hit television series "The Last of Us," is poised to benefit from the growing trend of video game adaptations. With its PlayStation game console, the Japanese company publishes some of the world's most popular games. It also owns a major Hollywood studio and a music label. In 2019, Sony set up PlayStation Productions to help convert its game franchises into movies and television series. And as a content "arms dealer" in the platform streaming wars, Sony can benefit directly from the fierce competition for viewers. Some other upcoming television series inspired by Sony games include Netflix's "Horizon Zero Dawn" and Amazon's "God of War." Both of these game franchises have sold tens of millions of copies worldwide, making them prime candidates for successful adaptations.
As videogames and other entertainment media become more intertwined, Sony will benefit from its foothold in many different media and its large content arsenal.
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