Many are wondering what is happening to Uncharted 4 after a mass exodus of high profile names from development studio Naughty Dog. The creative director, lead writer, character artist, and several others have all left for other companies, and Uncharted 4 for a while seemed to be stuck in limbo where it couldn’t move forward without solid leadership.
In an interview with GameInformer, though, company presidents Evan Wells and Christophe Balestra have commented on the mood at Naughty Dog, a stark contrast to the gloom and doom they are reading in the news, and have also confirmed that The Last of Us directors Neil Druckmann and Bruce Straley have taken control of Uncharted 4‘s development.
We’ve asked them to lead the project. They are excited as veterans of the Uncharted franchise to take the responsibility and they’re doing great.
Wells And Balestra have nothing but praise for the two directors, and want to assure fans of the Uncharted games that the change in leadership does not signify a huge change in direction for the franchise.
Everything here at Naughty Dog is done as a team effort across the board. Everybody has a huge creative input into everything that’s done. We never have operated on the “auteur philosophy” in any of our games in our 30-year history, where it’s just led by one person and if you remove that head it’ll come to a grinding halt. That’s not how we operate. So this is, again, business as usual.
In addition to Uncharted 4, Wells also confirmed that the team was in the very early stages of pre-production of another AAA game on the same scale.
Well I mentioned earlier the number of products we have going. We definitely have another project on the scale of Uncharted in very early pre-production stages. We have the sizable team that it takes to get something like that off of the ground, but it’s got a long runway in front of it. We have a lot of great ideas and some stuff that is already getting everybody jazzed and excited. So, it’s a long way off before we can really start talking about it in detail.
What could it be, I wonder. A new franchise? Returning to an older one? We’ll just have to wait and see.
Naughty Dog has historically started a new franchise on each new piece of generational hardware that Sony puts out, making Uncharted 4 the first time it will be revisiting a franchise after the generational change, a fact addressed in Game Informer‘s interview. While I’m all for Naughty Dog returning to Uncharted for another adventure with Nathan Drake, I do still hope that we can get another original series out of it as well.
We already saw it work wonders with The Last of Us, but I’m in the mood for something a little more classic, like a dive back into the cartoonish platformer days. Something tells me Naughty Dog is a little too beyond that though, and no such game would require the same scale as Uncharted 4. Oh well…