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Sony's 'The Last of Us' Is Just the Beginning

HBO's new post-apocalyptic series "The Last of Us," adapted from a PlayStation game, is a smash hit.

January 26, 2023
2 minutes
minute read

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.

As the world increasingly moves toward digital communication, businesses must adapt to stay relevant. This company is in a unique position to take advantage of this trend and stay ahead of the competition.

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 America.

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 increasingly promising source of material. With a built-in fan base, videogames offer a much larger market than the cinema movie market. Industry tracker Newzoo estimates that the global game market was worth $184 billion in 2022, with mobile games accounting for around half of that. Even console gaming, which generated $52 billion in revenue last year, is bigger than the global cinema market. Comscore reports that worldwide box-office revenue was only $43 billion in 2019.

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). However, 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, meaning that some fans have grown up with different iterations of the story.

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.

As videogames and other entertainment media become more intertwined, Sony will benefit from its foothold in many different media and its formidable content arsenal.

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Eric Ng
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John Liu
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Adan Harris
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Cathy Hills
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