Rolling out of bed this morning to the news of Naughty Dog’s decision to delay, Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, was welcomed with mixed emotions. Hard-core followers of the industry, know delays are part of the process and have grown to accept them. Still fairly early in the this console generation lifecycle, developers are just now fully realizing the potential they have. As the consumer, we can get caught up in the hype of a game so much, we can lose sight of just how important delays are for all parties involved.
If any studio in the industry should have wiggle room to prolong development, it’s Naughty Dog. Some of the very best games in the last two decades have come out of Naughty Dog’s studio. With each game they’ve released raising the stakes in some way, shape, or form, Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, has more than a lot to live up to. Leading the development team behind A Thief’s End, Neil Druckmann and Bruce Straley, took to PlayStation Blog to reveal the delay early today; here’s what they had to say.
“Since we showed you our first gameplay reveal of Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, more of the game and story have come together, and it’s become clear to us that this game is much more ambitious than we originally envisioned.”
They finished with this.
“Thank you for your patience — we know the extra wait will be excruciating, but you’ll see it will be worth it as we reveal more about Uncharted 4 over the next year. The team at Naughty Dog will be heads down working through 2015 making sure that Nathan Drake’s story gets the closure it deserves. Come Spring 2016, you and Nate are in for one thrilling, emotional ride.”
Just before the concluding sentence, it was said Nathan Drake’s story is getting all the attention it can in order for it to get the closure it deserves. This statement leads me to believe this will be the final Uncharted game Naughty Dog will release. Though the previous Uncharted games were somewhat of a lighthearted romp, they’re much deeper than just raising a body count and collecting treasure. The story has always been grounded to some degree, with characters you actually care about. Drake and his companions frequently raise human questions of when is enough, enough, in the many sticky situations they find themselves in. These moments of humanity definitely allude to an end. Time has progressed over the course of the three games, characters have aged and eventually they’ll be too old to scale vertical mountainsides while blasting away encroaching enemies.
Though I do guarantee Naughty Dog’s take on Drake’s journey will end at A Thief’s End, I fear the Uncharted brand won’t. Don’t get me wrong, I love everything about Uncharted, but handing the license off to another studio I fear is possible. We’ve already seen SCE Bend Studio tackle Golden Abyss and they did a terrific job, but I want Uncharted to remain Naughty Dog. Drake’s journey is their story to tell and the last thing I want is to have the brand run into the ground due to unwarranted, future iterations.
If Naughty Dog needs more time to perfect their finale, then a delay was more than the right call.
Connect with me on Twitter and let me know what your thoughts on the delay, also do you think A Thief’s End will be the final Uncharted game? Find me @BraxHaugen