Naughty Dog sheds light on Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End delay

Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End was in part delayed in order to fulfill developer Naughty Dog’s vision to end Nathan Drake’s final outing with an almighty bang, its director has said.

Speaking with the latest issue of OPM UK, Neil Druckmann said the decision to postpone the game from its original late 2015 window to March 2016 wasn’t an easy choice, but was necessary in order to achieve the vision its creators had for Drake’s final adventure.

It was a very hard decision,” said Druckmann. "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…’"

He added: “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." 

We were weighing those choices between fans and their expectations," Druckmann continued. "It was going to disappoint them to push this thing back, but this is the last chapter for Nathan Drake, so let’s give ourselves as much time as possible and go all-out for this series.”

During the same interview, Naughty Dog admitted it was difficult to imagine the franchise continuing without Nathan Drake, though didn’t rule it out entirely. Druckmann also shared some insight into the themes explored in the upcoming action-adventure sequel.

Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End sees the cocky fortune hunter on the hunt for a legendary pirate treasure, and will be joined in his exploits by long-time partner, Victor ‘Sully’ Sullivan and brother Sam. The sequel will adhere firmly to the series’ roots, and as such won’t feature any new features such as a character progression system. Likewise, Drake will be the only playable character in the game despite the extensive cast lineup.

Like its predecessors, Uncharted 4 will feature a multiplayer component, the beta of which will kick off in December. Access will be given away with every purchase of the forthcoming Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection for PS4 this October. The title will also be supported by single-player DLC after launch, a move inspired by the success of The Last of Us’ ‘Left Behind’ DLC.