Developer Naughty Dog seems to be done with Uncharted. That’s according to its co-President Neil Druckmann, who confirmed in a Buzzfeed interview, that having put their “final brushstroke” on the story with the insanely popular Uncharted 4, the team is ready to move on. That fate could also befall The Last of Us franchise if the company decides not to proceed with a third mainline entry. Druckmann praises his publisher Sony for not forcing them to churn out a sequel and is okay with finishing the story with the “very strong ending,” as seen in The Last of Us Part II.
“[Sony] have supported us every step of the way to follow our passions — meaning that just because something is successful, people think there’s all this pressure and we have to make a sequel. That’s not the case,” Druckmann explained in the interview. “For us, Uncharted was insanely successful — Uncharted 4 was one of our best-selling games — and we’re able to put our final brushstroke on that story and say that we’re done. We’re moving on.” That said, he wasn’t fully clear on whether he was referring to solely the series stalwart Nathan Drake’s story, or the franchise as a whole. Naughty Dog last ported Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection to PC, which included the aforementioned mainline Uncharted 4 and the spin-off title focused on Chloe Frazer, Uncharted: The Lost Legacy. The former sold over 15 million copies on the PS4, making it the highest-selling Uncharted title in the franchise.
Druckmann also weighed in on a potential The Last of Us Part 3, claiming that for now, the studio is mainly focusing on their sights on the untitled The Last of Us standalone multiplayer experience, revealed at Geoff Keighley’s Summer Game Fest, last year. “We’ve been pretty open that the next Last of Us game is going to be this multiplayer experience, where you’ll be able to enter the world of The Last of Us with your friend and get to experience the tension and the brutality of that world — and a brand new story and cast of characters that live in another city that we haven’t seen yet in the world of The Last of Us,” he said. The Last of Us Part 3, however, isn’t on the priority list, and the studio has zero pressure on deciding what to do with the story.
Earlier this month, Druckmann claimed that he was intrigued by the minimalist storytelling in FromSoftware’s award-winning magnum opus, Elden Ring. Going forward, he plans on experimenting with this style — a far cry from PlayStation’s first-party entries, which mainly rely on cinematics for storytelling. “To me, right now, that’s some of the best joy I get out of games that trust their audience to figure things out,” he told The Washington Post. “[Games] that don’t hold your hand, that’s the stuff I’m really intrigued by going forward.”
The Last of Us is currently in the spotlight, thanks to the successful launch of its live-action adaptation for HBO, starring Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey in the lead roles. Even Uncharted received a Tom Holland-led live-action film earlier this year, which despite failing on a critical level, managed a good box office collection. The film grossed a worldwide total of $401.7 million (about Rs. 3,277 crore).