The Last Of Us Part 1 is widely regarded as one of the best games of all time, with a gripping story, memorable characters, and immersive gameplay. It was a huge success for Sony and Naughty Dog, selling over 20 million copies on PlayStation 4 and winning numerous awards. It also spawned a hit HBO show that concluded its first season in February 2023.
However, Sony’s attempt to bring this masterpiece to PC has been nothing short of a disaster. The PC port of The Last Of Us Part 1, which was released on February 23, 2023, one week after the HBO show’s season finale, has sold only 368,000 units up to April, one month after launch. That’s a dismal figure for one of Sony’s key franchises, especially compared to the PC port of Spider-Man, which sold more than 1.5 million units since its release in August 2022.
The reason for this poor performance is simple: the PC port of The Last Of Us Part 1 is a technical mess. The game suffers from bugs, crashes, and an uneven frame rate that make it nearly unplayable for many users. The graphics look worse than on PS4, and the game does not support many PC features such as ultrawide resolutions or ray tracing. The game received mixed reviews on Steam, with more negative than positive ones at launch.
Many users have expressed their frustration and disappointment with the port. One Steam user wrote: “I was so excited to play The Last Of Us Part 1 on PC, but I regret buying it. It crashes every 10 minutes, the frame rate is terrible, and the graphics look worse than on PS4. I want a refund.” Another user wrote: “The Last Of Us Part 1 on PC is still a great game despite the technical issues. I enjoyed the story and the characters a lot. I hope Naughty Dog will fix the bugs soon and make it more playable.”
Some critics have also slammed Sony for rushing out the port and tarnishing the reputation of the game. Tom Phillips from Eurogamer wrote: “Sony has clearly rushed this port out to cash in on the hype of the HBO show, but it has backfired spectacularly. This is not how you treat one of your most beloved franchises.” Keza MacDonald from The Guardian wrote: “The Last Of Us Part 1 is a masterpiece of storytelling and gameplay, but its PC port is a disaster that should never have been released in this state.”
In contrast, the PC port of Spider-Man has been praised for its smooth performance, graphics, and gameplay on PC. The game runs well on most systems, supports various PC options such as high refresh rates and DLSS, and looks stunning with ray tracing enabled. The game received overwhelmingly positive reviews on Steam, with users praising its fun and engaging gameplay. One user wrote: “Spider-Man on PC is a blast to play. It runs smoothly on my laptop, the graphics are stunning, and the gameplay is fun and engaging. I love swinging around New York and fighting crime.” Another user wrote: “Spider-Man on PC is a perfect example of how to do a PC port right. It respects the original game while enhancing it for the PC audience. It’s a must-play for any fan of superhero games.”
The difference in quality and sales between the two ports is evident in their revenue figures. The PC port of Spider-Man made $52 million in revenue, while the PC port of The Last Of Us Part 1 made $15.5 million. That’s a huge gap for two games that are supposed to be flagship titles for Sony’s PC expansion.
Sony has been expanding its presence on PC in recent years, with more PlayStation titles being ported to PC such as God of War and Horizon Zero Dawn. The company earned $450 million in revenue from its PC ports in the past fiscal year, with Spider-Man and The Last Of Us Part 1 being the key launches.
However, Sony did not address the problems of The Last Of Us Part 1 in its investors meeting on May 24, 2023. Instead, it focused on its plans to release more PlayStation titles on PC in the future. Jim Ryan, Sony Interactive Entertainment CEO, said: “We are very pleased with the performance of our PC ports in the past fiscal year. We have seen a significant increase in revenue and user engagement from this segment. We plan to continue expanding our PC portfolio with more PlayStation titles in the future.”
Naughty Dog has also been silent about the issues of The Last Of Us Part 1 on PC. The only official statement from the studio came from co-president Neil Druckmann, who said: “We are aware of the issues that some users have experienced with The Last Of Us Part 1 on PC. We apologize for any inconvenience caused and we are working hard to resolve them as soon as possible. We appreciate your patience and support.” He also said: “The Last Of Us Part 1 is one of our most critically acclaimed and commercially successful games ever. We are proud of what we have achieved with this game and we are grateful for the fans who have supported us throughout this journey. We hope that they will enjoy playing it on PC as well.”
It remains to be seen if Naughty Dog can fix the problems of The Last Of Us Part 1 on PC and if Sony can regain the trust of the PC gamers who have been burned by this port. The Last Of Us Part 1 deserves better than this.