Despite it’s $50 price tag, the fact that a team at Naughty Dog spent time on it rather than something else, and the attention Sony is giving a game that’s already available, The Last of Us: Remastered is not getting called out as a shameless cash grab.
The video game industry is product-based, which means by its nature, it’s also money focused. The end game is for companies to make money. There’s also people who make games that are interesting and a craft that is fascinating and worth studying, but at the end of the day, games are things you buy.
That’s why it’s common to see a company do something that is blatantly money-driven and see everyone call it out for wanting only their money. This irony speaks to the belief that we like to think we support things that are made with care.
Sony has done a fantastic job at making us believe it cares about The Last of Us.
From its very creation, it’s clear that Sony and Naughty Dog deeply wanted to make a different kind of game, a product that would be appreciated for its artfulness, not just good design or good graphics. They pulled it off too. The Last of Us feels like a game with a lot of effort behind it, and the fact that it was also really good makes you want to support it.
If you were to subtract all that, though, it would be easy to be cynical about The Last of Us: Remastered. It’s Sony just putting an old game on its new console that already doesn’t have enough new games. It’s Naughty Dog taking the time to make a game we’ve already played better for the few who didn’t play it yet. It’s $50 for a year-old game.
See how offensive those statements sound? They sound like that because you disagree, because you probably liked The Last of Us and would love to play it in a higher resolution with all the DLC included from the start.
The other good thing Sony has done is actually deliver some of its promises. At least according to the leaked gameplay and screenshots, the game looks significantly better than the PlayStation 3 version and it seems to run at a consistent framerate.
Again, subtract that, and you have a game that nobody wants to exist or wishes didn’t exist.
So, yeah, The Last of Us: Remastered is a cash grab, like any video game. But execution and public perception give it value.