The Last of Us Part III Shouldn’t Exist Just Because the Show’s Popular


The Last of Us

By: Jason Siu


4 min read

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pedro pascal in the last of us

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I consider The Last of Us Part I the best game I’ve ever played and while Part II has its issues, it’s still a better game than most of what’s out there. Over the last nine weeks, we’ve been treated to what is the best video game adaptation yet onto a television screen, with HBO’s The Last of Us show. The season finale just rolled this past weekend on March 12, and HBO was quick to announce some viewership numbers following the episode’s debut:

  • Episode 1 – 4.7 million (Jan. 15)
  • Episode 2 – 5.7 million (Jan. 22)
  • Episode 3 – 6.4 million (Jan. 29)
  • Episode 4 – 7.5 million (Feb. 5)
  • Episode 5 – 11.6 million (Feb. 10-Feb. 12)*
  • Episode 6 – 7.8 million (Feb. 19)
  • Episode 7 – 7.7 million (Feb. 26)
  • Episode 8 – 8.1 million (March 5)
  • Episode 9 – 8.2 million (March 12)
  • *Early premiere, includes data from Friday to Sunday

Needless to say, the show is considered a great success for HBO and both Craig Mazin and Neil Druckmann deserve a lot of credit for making such an authentic and accurate adaptation. Personally, I found most of the changes Mazin and Druckmann decided to make with the show added more to the story, for the better. But I’m not here to nitpick and gripe about what I didn’t like about the show. You can find hundreds of professional opinions on that, now that the mainstream media is covering The Last of Us. Writers who made a living criticizing shows like Game of Thrones are now questioning whether Joel did the right thing in The Last of Us — it’s pretty wild. The same discussions gamers had nearly a decade ago are now taking place with show watchers who have never played the game.

Those show watchers are in for a wild ride in the second and third seasons of The Last of Us, which will cover The Last of Us Part II. Now, with the show’s wild success, it’s a given that the media (both mainstream and gaming) is asking Naughty Dog if The Last of Us Part III is in development. There are plenty of rumors floating around and Druckmann is notorious for not exactly telling the truth when it comes to The Last of Us, so I wouldn’t believe a single word coming out of his mouth. There was a time that Naughty Dog was adamant there would never be The Last of Us Part II, saying that Joel and Ellie’s story was complete with the first game. We all know how that went.

Will Bella Ramsey’s Ellie get so popular that it forces Naughty Dog to make a third game in the series? Photo credit: HBO

My concern however, is The Last of Us Part III might be inevitable because of the show’s popularity. What’s even more worrying, is whether the show will now dictate the story for the game, if it’s ever made. I always believed The Last of Us could use sequels set in the same world, but exploring a new story with different main characters. Part II was fine overall, but there’s a good reason it’s so heavily debated whether the sequel should have been made in the first place. Did it really add to the story? Was it a story that really had to be told?

Now imagine a world where the popularity of Bella Ramsey’s Ellie drives HBO to want more than three seasons of The Last of Us. That really leaves two options: Mazin and Druckmann continue the show without creating a new game, focused around Ramsey’s version of Ellie. Or, Naughty Dog and Sony decide to take the plunge and create The Last of Us Part III, because they probably like money. The problem is, if a third game is made, it’s more then likely to continue with Ellie and company because of the show’s success. And that sort of sucks, if that’s the case.

The Last of Us Part III should only be created if there’s a compelling story to tell about Ellie, and I’m not really sure if there is one. I can think of a few storylines that Naughty Dog could force onto us, but I personally feel like another sequel is just going to further dilute what they’ve created with the original game — which was a masterpiece, in my opinion.

Maybe my concerns are completely pointless, considering the next two seasons of the show haven’t even been shot yet. Who knows how show watchers will react to the events of Part II. There might not even be demand for more The Last of Us after the third season.

Chances are though, a decision on The Last of Us Part III has already been made and I would be completely shocked if the game isn’t already in the very early stages of development. Like Sony and Naughty Dog, HBO probably really likes money too, and more games mean more stories to adapt.

If you haven’t experienced The Last of Us just yet, Part I is heading to PC on March 28.

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With over 20 years of online publishing experience, Jason Siu is currently the Content Director at VerticalScope and used to spend most of his time writing about cars. His work can be seen on websites such as AutoGuide, EV Pulse, FlatSixes, Tire Authority, and more. As the former co-founder of and West Coast Editor of Modified Magazine, he has also authored two books for CarTech Books. In his spare time, he founded FullCleared to indulge in his passion for writing about games. Although Jason is a variety gamer, he generally prefers RPGs.

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