HBO’s adaptation of “The Last of Us” is making waves in terms of viewership. As per WB Discovery, the show notched up 18 million viewers for its premiere episode in one week and then witnessed a 22% hike in viewership for episode 2. As per the company, it’s the highest-grossing HBO original in terms of viewership.
It was renewed for season 2 before episode 3 even premiered. As such, its rise has been meteoric. Also, it has been garnering critical praise from critics and casual viewers alike. The show has notched up 94% in audience ratings and 96% in critic ratings on the aggregate review site Rotten Tomatoes. Basically, it has set high standards for video game adaptations.
However, in doing so, it has made other video game makers quite nervous about the live-action adaptation of their IPs. One such person is the boss of Xbox. So let us see what he thinks about the competition.
Xbox Boss Talks About ‘The Last of Us’ And ‘Halo’
In an interview with IGN, Phil Spencer, the CEO of Xbox, talked about the success of HBO’s “The Last of Us.” He said that he looks at the show’s success in multiple ways. Firstly, he sees it (the live-action adaptation) as an outlet for their creators and teams to do things they might not have been able to do since video game sales are the only ways to gauge a game’s popularity in the gaming industry.
So it’s an opportunity for the teams to accomplish something that’s outside the bounds of what they normally do. Overall, looking at the creative side of it, he thinks that it’s great that the creators and development teams have had that opportunity.
He then congratulated the teams involved in the development of The Last of Us and praised the show for being fantastic. Spencer stated that the foundation of the show is the games that were made by Naughty Dog, the publisher of The Last of Us games. The Xbox CEO also credited Neil Druckmann, the creator of the game, for the show’s success. He said that Neil using his talents to develop a TV show is great for him and the team.
He further elaborated by saying that seeing one of the best creators of the gaming medium recreate his success in another medium just goes on to show that the gaming industry has amazing creators and storytellers. Phil Spencer also subsequently implied that he thinks that other industries, like those making TV shows or movies, think of game makers as lesser or as outsiders. However, he states that he hasn’t felt that alienation personally.
The IGN interviewer asks Spencer if he wants similar accolades for the “Halo” TV show in season two. To this, he replied that he wants the very best for everything their team and company work on, and this includes the Halo live-action series.
As for whether he wants to reach and even surpass the high bar set by “The Last of Us,” he affirmatively agrees. The Xbox CEO further explained that he and his creative teams are always getting inspired by the work that’s done around them, thus implying that “The Last of Us” has pushed them creatively to do their best.
He then goes on to say that it’s the same for video games since when he plays a great game, it inspires the company to do the very best that it can to put out the same results. Overall, Phil Spencer praises Neil Druckmann and the creative team involved in making “The Last of Us.” Then he says that he wants the “Halo” TV series to do well and achieve the success of Druckmann’s show.
The Situation Of The ‘Halo’ TV Show
The first season of the “Halo” TV series is out on Paramount Plus, but it hasn’t received the unanimous acclaim that has graced HBO’s adaptation of “The Last of Us.” In fact, it has received mixed reviews and is nowhere near the social media traction that “The Last of Us” is getting. On the Rotten Tomatoes site, it has a 52% audience score and 70% critic ratings.
Many fans of the Halo games think that they deserved better than what they got in the TV adaptation. However, this doesn’t mean that the “Halo” show was a flop. As per the Wall Street Journal, the “Halo” TV series beat other critically acclaimed Paramount Plus shows like “1883” and “Yellowstone” to become the highest-watched show on Paramount Plus.
However, that’s not high praise because Paramount Plus has fewer subscribers than HBO. Thankfully, the show has already been renewed for season two. So it can certainly improve its performance in the upcoming season. Whether that will happen or not remains to be seen.