When Naughty Dog made the decision earlier this year to delay Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End into 2016, they said it was because the game “is much more ambitious than we originally envisioned” and it deserved “every bit of the attention to detail, precise pacing, and nuanced storytelling Naughty Dog is known for.”
Speaking with Official PlayStation Magazine in their latest issue, Director Neil Druckmann opened up a bit more about their reasoning behind the delay, saying it “was a very hard decision.”
The Last Of Us was the first game we ever delayed – by a month – and we felt so guilty and so horrible having to do that, and yet shipping a game that wasn’t up to our vision would have felt worse. Much of the development and figuring things out happens as we go. There were certain sequences where we were like ‘Okay, this is a pretty ambitious sequence, we will probably have to cut this…’
As for Uncharted 4 specifically, the ending is so ambitious that Naughty Dog would have had to cut it back if they were to reach the 2015 release window:
Even when I’m describing the ending, it’s a pretty… Well, I guess this is a little bit of a spoil… Nah, I’m not going to say it! But there is something that happens that requires quite a bit of work for what we want it to do, and again we would have had to reduce that scope and reduce that ambition to meet that [original] deadline.
Ultimately, because “this is the last chapter for Nathan Drake,” Naughty Dog weighed the choices between fans and their expectations, and decided to give themselves as much time as possible and “go all-out for this series.”
Uncharted 4 comes to PlayStation 4 on March 18, 2016.