The Last of Us Remake Has No Business Being A Full Price Product

Naughty Dog is greedy. I suppose that adjective can be used to describe the majority of triple-A developers and publishers nowadays, with the smell of money proving far more alluring than exploring creative new ideas and pushing the medium forward. With Naughty Dog though, never has this been more obvious than with The Last of Us.

First launched in 2013, the narrative masterpiece has seen an official remaster on PS4, a sequel on PS4 that was patched to support improved performance on PS5, and now a complete remake set to arrive on PS5 in the coming months. It’s worth adding that we’ve had to fork out pennies for all but one of these titles by the way, with the performance patch being given out for free. How nice of Naughty Dog to treat us peasants with a bit of respect for once. Now back to grovelling.

The remake itself isn’t surprising, but the fact Sony has the gall to charge $70 for a game that came out almost ten years ago that the developer itself has confirmed will leave the overall experience mostly untouched except for revamped visuals and enhanced combat is a pretty miserable sign of where the industry is at right now. The sad thing is that people will pay that price for it without complaint because The Last of Us is so widely regarded as a high watermark of the medium. In many ways this is true, but we should treat our monetary worth with a little more respect until this becomes normalised.

We should be paying no more than £40 for this, even more so when it doesn’t even include the online multiplayer. Naughty Dog is working on a live service title within the game’s universe set to arrive in the coming years, so I imagine any reminder of its predecessor would draw attention to all the wrong places. That’s the bummer, and a just world would see the remake valued at a price point that is relative to the experience itself. But nope, we’re paying the same price as we would for Horizon Forbidden West or Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart that many of us already own multiple times. It’s even free on PS5, which only serves to make the whole situation feel even more ridiculous.

Naughty Dog and Sony definitely had a conversation about this before the game’s announcement, happy to declare The Last of Us remake as a major exclusive for the platform that deserves to sit alongside its other blockbuster titles. I would believe this if the game in question was both older and not already available in so many outlets. We’ve played The Last of Us before, and hardcore fans can likely recount every cutscene and piece of dialogue from memory. It was seen as a new narrative milestone in the medium, and now it’s almost holding Naughty Dog hostage as a game it must resurface again and again and again because of how it all but guarantees success. How ironic.

I’m both sceptical and excited for The Last of Us remake, but knowing that I and so many others are being asked to pay an unfair price for the privilege of a game we already own is a clear example of toxic corporate practices that put profits above consumers. Sod it, maybe I’ll just watch all the cutscenes on YouTube and pretend I bought it. Suck it, Sony.

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