Developer Naughty Dog has reaffirmed that the studio is ready to move on to pastures anew following the release of Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End early next year.
Part and parcel of that comes down to the studio’s ambition to venture beyond the comfort zone that the Uncharted series affords, and as Lead Game Designer Robert Cogburn reveals in an interview with Kotaku, it’s become a challenge to remain grounded in a universe four mainline games in.
This will be our fourth Uncharted game. These games are hard to make. Particularly with a character like Nathan Drake in a world that’s fairly grounded, it’s a challenge to consider how much more we can expand the universe while adhering to those sorts of rules.
This is by no means the first time that Naughty Dog has alluded to A Thief’s End acting as the swan song for not only Nate’s adventure, but the studio’s time at the helm. For Cogburn, that allows the team to “start fleshing out” ideas for new projects that have been hatched within the studio.
You struggle with having to answer the same questions over and over again in any franchise. This is gonna be the fourth time we start answering stuff like, ‘How do we make hand-grabs visible? What do we do to scale the combat experience? What are the interesting puzzles we can be introducing in the moment-to-moment as the player’s experiencing this narrative?’ That’s not to say the questions will be the same in games we make going forward, but as a studio we grow tired of answering those same types of questions in the same fiction. It’s gonna be fun for us to really embark on new ideas and start fleshing those out [in a new series].
Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End will seemingly draw the curtain on Naughty Dog’s tenure at the helm of the series when the sequel launches exclusively for PlayStation 4 on March 18, 2016.