How many viewers will TLOU premiere with on HBO

How many viewers will TLOU premiere with on HBO


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Just a little over a month away for PlayStation Productions

PlayStation Productions has its biggest day ever coming up and in a lot of ways is going to determine its direction in the future when the Last of Us launches on HBO on January 15th.

No other IP that Sony has a better chance of producing a successful TV series than The Last of Us. They've also partnered with the best in the business in HBO, who are the most talented to do this franchise justice. Could the show have been bigger on Netflix? Probably, could it have been better? I doubt it. HBO needs this to be a hit almost as much as Sony. House of the Dragon premiered with 10 million viewers, which was HBO's largest. It would go on to average nearly 30 million viewers per episode. They need some level of sustained engagement until Season 2 which doesn't come until 2024. It's worth noting that Season 1 of The Last of Us is going to be 9 episodes, which suggests to me at least that they have a hold on their pacing, in not forcing 10.

There are at least 10 million fans of The Last of Us. Halo's premier on a more closed-off Paramount+ exceeded 5 million viewers. This will be a huge test for PlayStation Productions and their largest since the release of Uncharted which had average critical reception and a decent box office return (11th in the domestic box office so far for 2022 and 11th worldwide). The show will undoubtedly bring comparisons to The Walking Dead, which may turn off viewers who have grown fatigued of zombies.

Going further it's really going to validate or invalidate the (IMO) rushed remake of The Last of Us P1, which a lot of people thought didn't need to be made (I disagree). We're going to immediately see if this game returns up the charts in February and March. How it performs on Steam when it is released, and whether or not it has an impact on The Last of Us P2 on the charts. I wonder if Sony will release P1 and P2 together on PC or how long it will take for P2 to get a PC release.

But the success of this show and similarly the ability for it to push its gaming business by drawing in more consumers is a huge test for Sony. I don't think Uncharted really had that impact, but their strategy for Uncharted was probably flawed. This will also be an interesting test here. It'll help determine if the right thing to do was to put out an Uncharted remake rather than a port of Uncharted 4 and Legacy of Thieves. I think it will also help determine how many remakes we end up getting this generation from Sony and maybe even others.
 

Kupfer

Member
The TLOU fanbase has already been damaged after TLOU 2 and has split in parts, so a whole potential group of viewers has already been lost.
But even as a TLOU fan who likes both games, I have no ambition to watch the series - I wouldn't know what for. Other faces to familiar names, these are not the characters I have come to know over the years and the story I already know from the games.

The series seems to be probably more for the people who do not play videogames themselves but have heard of TLOU through the large advertising presence, they can now take a look for themselves whats it's all about.
 
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MadPanda

Member
It doesn't matter. What matters is how many will be satisfied with it at the end. Halo premiered with big numbers on Paramount+ but many were disappointed at the end of the season.
 
The TLOU fanbase has already been damaged after TLOU 2 and has split in parts, so a whole potential group of viewers has already been lost.
But even as a TLOU fan who likes both games, I have no ambition to watch the series - I wouldn't know what for. Other faces to familiar names, these are not the characters I have come to know over the years and the story I know from the games.

The series seems to be probably more for the people who do not play themselves but have heard of TLOU through the large advertising presence, they can now take a look for themselves whats it's all about.

That's an interesting theory, I would hazard that many people who didn't like TLOU2 will still watch the show, especially if it is good. Despite everything TLOU2 still sold 10 million copies, which is in line with TLOU Remastered. I think the problem Sony had was they probably assumed the majority of people buying TLOU:R were new fans, but it turns out probably a majority rebuys. The original game sold about 7 million copies. So maybe you assumed you had 13-15 million fans, and maybe that's right, but you lost 5 million with TLOU2, but gained another 2 million who never played the first one.

Combined with TLOU multiplayer, Sony is going to have a heavy push for this franchise in hopes of some sustained popularity. I won't go as far as to say this is a make-or-break for Naughty Dog, but it's certainly a big year for them.

Look at the Harry Potter books, you're never going to have the same faces, but that doesn't prevent you from having success and lots of it potentially.

I believe this is targeting a lot of people. Non-gamers and gamers who never played TLOU, and gamers who did play. That's obviously everyone. What will determine its success though is its quality. Ultimately, it needs to stand on its own feet.
 

Heisenberg007

Gold Member
It doesn't matter. What matters is how many will be satisfied with it at the end. Halo premiered with big numbers on Paramount+ but many were disappointed at the end of the season.
People will be butthurt no matter what. So many are still mad at TLOU 2, which is a masterpiece.

The only thing that matters is if the show is objectively good or not. If it is, that's all the success Sony needs. It'll garner an audience and become a hit among the masses. Doesn't really matter if "hardcore gamers on Internet forums" aren't satisfied with how the show turned out to be.
 

MadPanda

Member
The only thing that matters is if the show is objectively good or not. If it is, that's all the success Sony needs.

I disagree. Being objectively good doesn't mean it will resonate with the audience. It they want to get some grammys or whatever, then maybe that's a good metric for Sony, but I think they care about its profitability and success.
 

Punished Miku

Gold Member
No idea, but I don't really hear any buzz about it or anything. I don't think the IP has any reputation outside of gamers already familiar with it. I don't think the cast has star power enough to draw them in.

It will likely start moderately strong based on existing HBO subs / gamers. Then it will slowly grow or decline based on word of mouth.
 
I don't think it will be too big. Teaser has 8 mil views. They should be lucky if the get 1-2 mil.

Like that you're looking into it like this, but I'll add that the HBO Max youtube channel has 1.68 million subscribers and that this has only been on youtube for a day. It's already in their top 20 most popular videos of all time. I think they'll want to see this hit 15+ million compared to say Peacemaker.
 
I don't know.

Looks like shit tho so don't count on me.

Betty White Dab GIF
 
No idea, but I don't really hear any buzz about it or anything. I don't think the IP has any reputation outside of gamers already familiar with it. I don't think the cast has star power enough to draw them in.

It will likely start moderately strong based on existing HBO subs / gamers. Then it will slowly grow or decline based on word of mouth.

I mean that's not really a solid metric though is it?

Did the Game of Thrones IP have any reputation outside of the book readers that were familiar with it before the first season? Did the cast? I'd say that Pedro Pascal is just as big right now as Sean Bean was if not bigger after the success of The Mandalorian.
 
I don't think it will be too big. Teaser has 8 mil views. They should be lucky if the get 1-2 mil.
The official trailer that just released less than 48 hours ago will surpass the teaser from almost 3 months ago today or tomorrow. Both at around 8M views.

And this is from the official HBO channel only.

Hype is increasing a lot. I've also seen tweets with huge engagement numbers. In fact, even House of the Dragon had less numbers before the first episode.

It won't reach those levels of course, but it'll be huge for HBO.
 

Madflavor

Member
The TLOU fanbase has already been damaged after TLOU 2 and has split in parts, so a whole potential group of viewers has already been lost.
But even as a TLOU fan who likes both games, I have no ambition to watch the series - I wouldn't know what for. Other faces to familiar names, these are not the characters I have come to know over the years and the story I already know from the games.

The series seems to be probably more for the people who do not play videogames themselves but have heard of TLOU through the large advertising presence, they can now take a look for themselves whats it's all about.

TLOU can go on to be the biggest and most watched show in the world, I don't care, I'm only speaking for myself here. I have very little interest in TLOU show. Part 2 killed the series for me. The best character is gone, 99% of the characters in Part 2 were an unlikeable bag of dicks, and in general I just don't think it was as well written as the first. I'm not going to get invested in the great story of Part 1 put on HBO, knowing the follow up story ain't as good.

This is coming from someone who loves Cormac McCarthy stories, so I didn't dislike Part 2 just because it was too dark. A lot of things about it just didn't work for me and save for the occasional participation in commenting about The Last of Us whenever it's brought up, I've moved on.
 
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Punished Miku

Gold Member
I mean that's not really a solid metric though is it?
I didn't reference a metric. I just guessed. My post started with "no idea." The other sentences started with "I don't think," or "I don't hear;" so purely anecdotal guesses.

As for Pedro Pascal, I guess we'll see.
 

Heisenberg007

Gold Member
I disagree. Being objectively good doesn't mean it will resonate with the audience. It they want to get some grammys or whatever, then maybe that's a good metric for Sony, but I think they care about its profitability and success.
Oh for sure. It ultimately comes down to profitability.

My point was that if it is objectively good (like more good than bad), it'll resonate with the majority of the audience (gamers + non-gamers) and, therefore, will find commercial success.

Whether it satisfies me or people like me (hardcore gamers on the forums) isn't the right barometer to measure its success -- because, tbh, us gamers are a fickle group that gets triggered over the most minute things.
 
TLOU can go on to be the biggest and most watched show in the world, I don't care, I'm only speaking for myself here. I have very little interest in TLOU show. Part 2 killed the series for me. The best character is gone, 99% of the characters in Part 2 were an unlikeable bag of dicks, and in general I just don't think it was as well written as the first. I'm not going to get invested in the great story of Part 1 put on HBO, knowing the follow up story ain't as good.
Interesting...your criticism for TLOU2 is the one i got for Horizon and God of War franchises right now.

I'm much more interested in every new IPs Sony could potentially be working right now.
 

Spyxos

Member
Like that you're looking into it like this, but I'll add that the HBO Max youtube channel has 1.68 million subscribers and that this has only been on youtube for a day. It's already in their top 20 most popular videos of all time. I think they'll want to see this hit 15+ million compared to say Peacemaker.
I must add that i really like the game, but series just looked not interesting to me. So i don't expect anything from it.
 
Interesting...your criticism for TLOU2 is the one i got for Horizon and God of War franchises right now.

I'm much more interested in every new IPs Sony could potentially be working right now.
I mean that's a bit of a fallacy for me that you are interested in unannounced IP that you don't know exists or not.

That tells me that you're just getting generally tired of Sony and I totally get that. I think they're formulaic, but I don't know whether that changes with new IP or not. Horizon is relatively knew and I was tired of the formula while I was playing it. Spider-Man grew tiring as you got further into the game and Ghost had the same formula but generally felt more refreshing.

I think I'd be more willing to here this if there was a specific IP that excited you that didn't copy the formula rather than "X unannounced mystery title is really exciting"

That being said, the only thing Sony has announced is Spider-Man 2.
 
I didn't reference a metric. I just guessed. My post started with "no idea." The other sentences started with "I don't think," or "I don't hear;" so purely anecdotal guesses.

As for Pedro Pascal, I guess we'll see.

I meant gauging it by star power or an audience familiar with it outside of the source material.
 

Punished Miku

Gold Member
I meant gauging it by star power or an audience familiar with it outside of the source material.
It's just guesses.
  • Existing subscribers will watch it. Gamers know about it and will watch it. Then it will either spread or decline based on word of mouth.
  • People totally unfamiliar with the IP will be drawn in by either star power of the cast, reviews, word of mouth. I don't think The Last of Us as an IP has any real reputation outside of gamers who know about it, but I don't have any polling or hard metrics on that. Just a guess.
What else would draw in people unfamiliar with the IP? It's literally either cast, advertising or reviews. Personally, I think the show lives or dies on word of mouth. If it blows up on social media and everyone is talking about how great it is, people will want to check it out.
 

Kupfer

Member
That's an interesting theory, I would hazard that many people who didn't like TLOU2 will still watch the show, especially if it is good. Despite everything TLOU2 still sold 10 million copies, which is in line with TLOU Remastered. I think the problem Sony had was they probably assumed the majority of people buying TLOU:R were new fans, but it turns out probably a majority rebuys. The original game sold about 7 million copies. So maybe you assumed you had 13-15 million fans, and maybe that's right, but you lost 5 million with TLOU2, but gained another 2 million who never played the first one.

Combined with TLOU multiplayer, Sony is going to have a heavy push for this franchise in hopes of some sustained popularity. I won't go as far as to say this is a make-or-break for Naughty Dog, but it's certainly a big year for them.

Look at the Harry Potter books, you're never going to have the same faces, but that doesn't prevent you from having success and lots of it potentially.

I believe this is targeting a lot of people. Non-gamers and gamers who never played TLOU, and gamers who did play. That's obviously everyone. What will determine its success though is its quality. Ultimately, it needs to stand on its own feet.
Yes, you raise a good point. I also think that the timing is not by chance and that they simply want to stay in the conversation through the remaster, the series and the upcoming Factions 2 and do cross-advertising to attract as much attention and potential customers as possible. Marketing as it is written in the book.

The foreign faces to well-known names can work for many people. As you say, it happens all the time in other franchises. But here I personally think that it doesn't work well for me. ND has put so much effort over the years into creating and perfecting cinematic experiences on home consoles that are as close to movies as possible, not just visually, but emotionally and believably, that it is strange to have someone else play the character I think I know. This was not so problematic "in the past" with cross-media adaptations, because you never experienced such a precise character presentation and were never brought so close to the characters. We used to have the problem that our protagonists in film to game adaptations didn't look the same as in the film because we were too limited technically, now we are too far technically advanced and it's the other way around because we have too realistic characters in games. And even from book to film, the actors had to be very well casted; if the characters looked different from what was described in the book, people used to complain.
Of course, all of thisis not a problem for new viewers.

EDIT:
I would have liked to see a series in the TLOU universe, but with new characters. Joel and Ellie could exist in this story and be told through stories or something, but that would have been a good way to expand the universe instead of just rehashing it.
 
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xrnzaaas

Member
The pilot is definitely going to have a huge audience - it's a big project and it's going to attract even those who haven't played the games. It's a bigger mystery how the viewership will look like over the course of the season. I definitely plan on watching the whole thing even if it's likely I'll be hate watching it. ;)
 

Regginator

Member
Who gives a shit, if the show is good, good, if not get on with ur life. Why are you all so cringe, holy fuck, like "how do you think x game gonna score guys????" and all this bs. Theres amazing shows with very little viewership and garbage shows with millions of views. Nothing is set in stone.
lol, who the fuck pissed in your cereal this morning
 
I mean that's a bit of a fallacy for me that you are interested in unannounced IP that you don't know exists or not.

That tells me that you're just getting generally tired of Sony and I totally get that. I think they're formulaic, but I don't know whether that changes with new IP or not. Horizon is relatively knew and I was tired of the formula while I was playing it. Spider-Man grew tiring as you got further into the game and Ghost had the same formula but generally felt more refreshing.

I think I'd be more willing to here this if there was a specific IP that excited you that didn't copy the formula rather than "X unannounced mystery title is really exciting"

That being said, the only thing Sony has announced is Spider-Man 2.
I mean i'm not tired of Sony. Gran Turismo 7 is their best game this year for me. It's just that i feel some of their latest games and Sony's own ambition is working against them.
A sequel to be better doesn't need more of everything to be better.

There was a chapter on Ragnarok where you basically just press forward and collect fruits and have almost no control. They are thinking about the narratives first and the gameplay elements after...and it's not fun for a videogame. That's all. That said i don't regret their latest few games. I just think it's time to re-evaluate their priorities right now.

I also think having PS4 as the base for every game is hurting Sony right now. Probably once we move on from this things will be better. Doing the post-game on Ragnarok is painful as hell and you really realize how limited the level design was. But we're getting offtopic anyway.
 

Vick

Gold Member
TLOU can go on to be the biggest and most watched show in the world, I don't care, I'm only speaking for myself here. I have very little interest in TLOU show. Part 2 killed the series for me. The best character is gone, 99% of the characters in Part 2 were an unlikeable bag of dicks, and in general I just don't think it was as well written as the first. I'm not going to get invested in the great story of Part 1 put on HBO, knowing the follow up story ain't as good.

This is coming from someone who loves Cormac McCarthy stories, so I didn't dislike Part 2 just because it was too dark. A lot of things about it just didn't work for me and save for the occasional participation in commenting about The Last of Us whenever it's brought up, I've moved on.


And it's a shame especially because Part I was my favorite game of all time. Also don't expect an awful lot of things seen Part II, from a gameplay/controls perspective, to ever be matched and that sucks even more.
 

Ulysses 31

Member


And it's a shame especially because Part I was my favorite game of all time. Also don't expect an awful lot of things seen Part II, from a gameplay/controls perspective, to ever be matched and that sucks even more.
I can see people who disliked TLOU2 watch this show to see if Joel gets a more believable ending to his journey(he still dies because of Abby but this time he wouldn't be caught completely off guard or his naivety in strangers gets some on screen development first) this time rather than the rushed contrived mess that TLOU2 had.
 

Madflavor

Member
Interesting...your criticism for TLOU2 is the one i got for Horizon and God of War franchises right now.

I'm much more interested in every new IPs Sony could potentially be working right now.

I share the same opinion on Horizon and GoW. I really enjoyed Ragnarok, but it wasn't as well written as GoW 2018.

I can see people who disliked TLOU2 watch this show to see if Joel gets a more believable ending to his journey(he still dies because of Abby but this time he wouldn't be caught completely off guard or his naivety in strangers gets some on screen development first) this time rather than the rushed contrived mess that TLOU2 had.

The funniest thing that could happen is the showrunners decide they don't want to lose Pedro Pascal, and take Part 2 in a different direction, and it ends up being better written than the game.
 
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lh032

I cry about Xbox and hate PlayStation.
I think its going to be very successful for the viewers out there,.
 
I share the same opinion on Horizon and GoW. I really enjoyed Ragnarok, but it wasn't as well written as GoW 2018.



The funniest thing that could happen is the showrunners decide they don't want to lose Pedro Pascal, and take Part 2 in a different direction, and it ends up being better written than the game.
Yeah I agree, the gameplay filling in the blanks to keep the momentum going was a much better experience. But I went to play the original just to confirm something and yes, weapon switching is MUCH more responsive in GoW18 than it is in Ragnarok so all the expanded options were gimped by an unresponsive game.
 

Madflavor

Member
Yeah I agree, the gameplay filling in the blanks to keep the momentum going was a much better experience. But I went to play the original just to confirm something and yes, weapon switching is MUCH more responsive in GoW18 than it is in Ragnarok so all the expanded options were gimped by an unresponsive game.

I just found GoW 2018's story to be more tightly paced and written, and the emotional payoffs to be much better. There's good emotional payoffs in Ragnarok, but none of them match what 2018 brought. At no point in GoW 2018 was I bored, but I can't say the same for Ragnarok. I do like Ragnarok a lot though. 2018 was a 10/10 experience for me, while Ragnarok was a solid 9/10.
 
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