A lot of people are angry that The Last of Us: Remastered isn’t a cross buy game. After all, the game is over a year old now. Everyone who was an original Last of Us fan has bought it, played it, beaten it, and replayed it several times. Now, Naughty Dog and Sony expects us to pay full price for a game that we already have, just to play it on the PS4? WHAT NERVE!!!
Well cool your jets man, because there is a perfectly good reason why they are asking you to buy the game again: Money.
No, no not money like “Sony and Naughty dog are trying to squeeze money out of you” sense. Money in the “Sony and Naughty dog spent a lot of money to make this game happen” sense.
Look at it this way. Say you are making a game for the PS3, PS4, and Vita. All three versions are part of your operating budget. By the end of your development cycle you release all three at once and go, “Hey guys look, it’s a cross buy game!” You haven’t spent any extra money on developing the game and you may actually make extra money off people who are attracted to the prospect of owning it on every Sony platform they own. This is how a lot of cross-buy games get made.
But that’s not how The Last of Us got made. Instead, The Last of Us was made wholly and entirely for the PS3. It was a standalone game in its development without any other versions planned. Unfortunately, the PS4 came out shortly after The Last of Us did, making it one of the last great games of the PS3 era. Naturally this would make it a great title to push for the PS4 right? So what do you do? You make an HD remaster.
However, Naughty Dog’s budget for The Last of Us is already spent. The project is already over. The game is already shipped. This means that they needed a whole NEW budget to work on the remastered version. Being given a new budget means that they then have to make up that budget in sales, and then some in order to make a profit. If the remastered version was given away for free, the game would generate very little money. Only the people who didn’t purchase it for the PS3 would think about buying it, and that is a very small marketbase.
The way things stand now, however, anyone who purchased it for the PS3 will have to repurchase the game again if they want it on PS4. This makes a lot of people upset, but a lot of these upset people will purchase the game anyway, which means that Naughty Dog will likely succeed in creating it. Also, remember, a remastered version of The Last of Us was one of the most requested games by the Sony fanbase when the PS4 came out. So there were really two options here. Either a remastered version of the game simply didn’t come out or Naughty Dog charged for it.
Which choice would you rather pick?
Former Contributing Writer