Not charted developer Naughty Dog has already said that the forthcoming Uncharted 4: The end of a thief will be the last game in the series that the studio wants to work on directly. But there’s still the possibility that franchise owner Sony decides to go ahead with the Not charted series with a new developer at the helm (for an example of how something like this could happen, look no further than the late history of Naughty Dog’s own Crash Bandicoot series).
Potential spoilers ahead…
However, in a new interview, series director Neil Druckmann suggests so Uncharted 4 will put a hard stop on protagonist Nathan Drake’s story, one that would make it difficult for the series to continue under Sony.
“Ultimately, Sony owns it Not charted and they can do whatever they want,” Druckmann told Eurogamer at a recent event. “But with the end of this story, it’s going to be very difficult to make a sequel with Nathan Drake. Maybe there will be a prequel, maybe it will be a different character – I don’t know. But this is the end for Nathan Drake.”
“He’s at the height of his popularity, so it’s not a good business decision,” continued Druckmann. “But I feel like the best way to honor him is to get on top and finish his story.”
Druckmann’s comments on Eurogamer match quotes he gave to the British newspaper The sun almost verbatim, suggesting that this is a carefully crafted media message for the masses and not a ready-made suggestion in a single interview. And while this isn’t the first time Druckmann has publicly suggested that Uncharted 4 will be Nathan Drake’s final game, it’s the strongest indication yet that Drake’s ultimate fate will be the kind it’s impossible to come back from. That doesn’t necessarily mean a final death for the long-suffering Drake, but Druckmann’s pronouncements make the game’s “A Thief’s End” subtitle even more meaningful.
Elsewhere in the Eurogamer interview, Druckmann said players won’t be able to change Drake’s fate thanks to Uncharted 4‘s recently revealed branching conversation structure. “What I want to make sure we’re clear on is that we’re not making it Mass effect,” he said. “Not charted has a very specific story, it has a very specific ending that is very defining for the franchise. But at times we felt like a dialogue tree would really bring you more into the scene.”