Why Uncharted 4 is Naughty Dog’s last game in the PlayStation-exclusive franchise

Naughty Dog is stepping away from the Uncharted franchise as it’s finding it increasingly more difficult to keep the series ‘grounded’ and is eager to try its hand at something fresh.

"This will be our fourth Uncharted game," Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End‘s lead multiplayer designer, Robert Cogburn, told Kotaku. "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 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?’" he said. "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]."

He went on to say that The Last of Us proved that the California-based studio is capable of developing new games that offer a different experience to Uncharted.

Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End is scheduled for release exclusively on PlayStation on March 18, 2016. The game has been heavily marketed as the final entry in Nathan Drake’s adventures, and Naughty Dog has admitted that it is difficult to imagine continuing the series without the lovable rogue. The action-adventure sequel is currently available to play in multiplayer form for those who purchased the Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection until December 13. 

Naughty Dog released new footage of the game during Sony’s PlayStation Experience 2015 over the weekend, which offered a look at the new optional dialogue feature. The studio later clarified that these will be present in key moments and won’t offer the same freedom as open-world games. In addition, the company debuted a new character trailer at The Game Awards 2015 last week, giving fans their first look at Nadine Ross.