Despite its CERO Z rating, which is higher than an M rating in Japan, The Last of Us has manged to exceed its sales expectations. In fact, 88% of the initial shipment has flown off the shelves, with 117,465 copies sold in its first week. Outstanding work for a new IP, even more so given the traditionally off-putting age rating.
Violent Western-developed games in American settings don’t usually fare too well in Japan, making this something of a surprise. The Grand Theft Auto or Call of Duty series for example have never really made an impact in the Far East territories. It just goes to show that gamers worldwide can appreciate a mature story even with the fairly excessive violent scenes.
Could this lead to other developers carefully examining Naughty Dog’s far-reaching success in order to breach the Japanese market themselves?