Earlier this week it was discovered that comic and game asset artist Mark Pajarillo was contracted to work on The Last of Us 2: Remastered. The discovery was made via his LinkedIn profile, where he was probably not supposed to mention the game’s existence. This is the final bit of evidence fans needed to confirm the heavily rumored TLOU2 Remaster.
When it was first uncovered many took to Twitter to complain about the opportunity cost or just complain in general. Why is PlayStation remastering a 3-year-old game? Should it be a full $70 release? Is Sony just trying to make easy money from the hit TV show? Even Forbes posted an article this weekend titled, “Naughty Dog, Do Not Remaster ‘The Last Of Us Part II,’ Come On.”
Will A TLOU2 Remaster Cost $70?
I have to admit, when PlayStation announced a remaster of the first game, I was disappointed. My main concern comes from the opportunity cost. PlayStation does not publish enough new original games. I viewed this as a distraction, and just something in the way, preventing me from getting a new game. Besides PlayStation had already remastered the 2013 game for the PS4, was that not enough? Also, what are we doing to make a $10 game, now a $70 game? Who is even asking for this?
Of course, when The Last of Us Remastered was released, the PlayStation store immediately sold out of the $100 Collectors Edition. The game went on to sell incredibly well. That was before the launch of the HBO Series, which lifted the remaster to an increase of over 230%. A number that does not include the PC sales which was the main reason for another remaster. So not only was there demand, but fans had no problem paying $100.
I can not overstate this enough, Sony needs a reason to put a TLOU2 Remaster on PC before the continuation of the HBO Series. So maybe when it is released it will be a five-year-old game. Besides, The Last of Us 2 is a fantastic-looking game, but it is still a PS4 game. Why be half committed to their most important franchise? PC players are just going to complain that a 5-year-old game is coming to PC two years from now when it eventually arrives.
Does TLOU2 Remaster Have Opportunity Cost?
Yet what about the opportunity cost? If some of the best game developers in the world are working on a remaster of a three-year-old game, does that not remove their ability to contribute to something new? We can never know the career impact of each individual contributor but, Sony does have at least four teams fully dedicated to supporting game dev work. Besides, the people working on a TLOU2 Remaster wouldn’t necessarily be creatives who create new content.
Here is a healthy mindset to have, if the people who design gameplay loops, gun mechanics, movement, facial animations, and write dialog, are working on The Last of Us 3, the people working on textures, lighting, and haptic feedback are working on something else. If that something else was a canceled game, a TLOU2 Remaster is creating jobs or at least preventing layoffs until The Last of Us 3 enters that phase of development.
While I would rather we get something like a Gravity Rush Collection, a Bloodborne Remaster, or anything involving Sly Cooper, there is nothing wrong with PlayStation giving TLOU2 Remaster a white glove treatment when it comes to bringing it to PC and PS5. Besides, it is going to keep people employed between games. Plus fans are going to buy this. While even more are going to buy it when season two of the show launches.