In prior coverage and in the comments I postulated that the likely outcome for The Last of US 2 was going to be strong launch week sales followed by a massive drop off similar to other games with great marketing budgets. This theory has now been confirmed by the GfK sales charts in the U.K., as reported by GamesIndustry.biz. As The Last of Us 2 has seen an 80% drop in sales week over week.
Games Industry is not mistaken about it not being unusual for sales to drop by a significant margin after an initially successful week. What is omitted from this attempted damage control is the fact this happens with bad games. Gears 5, like The Last of Us 2 became the fastest-selling title on its platform. Following a fantastic launch week sales dropped off and it became one of the lowest selling Gears of War titles in franchise history.
Resident Evil 3 Remake launched to strong sales only for it to be off sales charts the very next week. Final Fantasy 7 Remake initially enjoyed similarly strong launch sales only for it to cling to the sales charts because of a lack of competition. As a result, Square Enix announced future expansions that are intended to complete the narrative will be smaller and stay true to the original game’s story arc rather than continue with the time alteration narration found in the first part.
While The Last of US 2 remains on the top of the sales charts, it owes this to a lack of competition. If sales volumes decrease by 80% but the title does not shift from its position, that is an indication the market itself did not move a significant number of products that week.
Going forward Sony will have to contend with Naughty Dogs’ reputation being obliterated, The Last of Us franchise being worthless, and having the ire of nearly every independent content creator. Creators that will do the company no favors, nor pull any punches if the PS5 has anything other than a perfect launch.