While one big Naughty Dog franchise is making a resurgence in popular culture thanks to The Last of Us TV show, we're left wondering if there's anything more to come from Uncharted, the studio's other massive action-adventure franchise.
Fans haven't given up, however, and they're holding out hope that one day we'll have an Uncharted 5. One such vague beacon of hope was a tiny section of an ad called "Live from PS5."
The ad from Sony featured clips from games we're all aware of, like God of War Ragnarök and Horizon Forbidden West. However, at the end there was a brief clip featuring a young woman in what looks like a tomb, blowing dust off an old relic à la Indiana Jones.
This led fans (of course) to speculate whether this was Cassie, the daughter of Nate and Elena introduced in the epilogue of Uncharted 4. Check out the ad below and see if you can spot the incredibly brief section in question:
So, is this really the case? Did we just see a tiny glimpse of Uncharted 5? Keep on reading for our full thoughts on the matter.
Will there be an Uncharted 5?
At the time of writing, Uncharted 5 has not been announced in any official capacity, but that hasn't stopped speculation from running rampantly around the internet.
As well as that vague glimpse of an explorer in the ad above, there was recently another hint - this time in the form of a job listing - that made it seem like Sony still had this franchise in mind.
The internet was quick to react when PlayStation listed a job for a senior producer role late last year on its official job site (the post has since been closed). Part of the description included the words "co-developing an exciting new project with Naughty Dog in a beloved franchise".
As Naughty Dog is known for keeping news on its projects to a minimum, this could be one of four franchises: Crash Bandicoot, Jak and Daxter, The Last of Us, or, of course, Uncharted.
The speculation so far does feel a bit like straw-clutching, and recent words from Naughty Dog's Neil Druckmann make a new Uncharted from the original developers seem even less likely than you might be hoping for.
What have Naughty Dog said about Uncharted 5?
In an interview with Buzzfeed, Naughty Dog's Neil Druckmann said the following about a possible sequel:
"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."
For us at least, this makes sense. Uncharted 4 was a perfect ending to the Nathan Drake saga, and although another story about Chloe and Nadine would be nice, we're not holding our breath.
A new Last of Us game is more likely, as Druckmann said in the same interview that The Last of Us Part 3 is possible. We think it's a good thing for a company to carry on with an unfinished story, rather than rehash a completed franchise with a perfect ending. As sad as it may be for some, it looks like the story of Uncharted really has ended - but it will always be there for us to revisit.
Could a different studio make Uncharted 5?
Now there's an interesting question. Looking back on the word of that PlayStation job listing, it's worth noting that it mentioned "co-developing an exciting new project with Naughty Dog in a beloved franchise".
That wording does imply that the project could be a co-production of some sort, with Naughty Dog working with another team within Sony to advise on an Uncharted game.
This sounds plausible in theory, especially considering that Naughty Dog already has several projects in the works, including the long-awaited Last of Us 2 multiplayer spin-off.
If Druckmann and company didn't have time to make Uncharted 5 itself, it's not hard to imagine Sony finding another arm of PlayStation Studios to take the lead on such a project (assuming that all parties could agree on the direction it should take).
This theory lines up with a 2021 report from Bloomberg's well-respected gaming reporter Jason Schreier, which he handily summed up with the Tweet below:
As you can see in the second of those Tweets, Bloomberg's sources claim that Sony tried at one point to team up Sony Bend with Naughty Dog to help with various projects. This was after Sony Bend failed to get funding for Days Gone 2, a proposed sequel to their apocalyptic 2019 game.
One team from Sony Bend, according to Bloomberg's report, was assigned "to work on a new Uncharted game with supervision from Naughty Dog". Almost two years have gone by since that article was published and there's still been no official word from Sony on the future of the Uncharted franchise.
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Could it be possible that the project mentioned in that report is slowly moving towards release? Is that was last year's PlayStation job listing was alluding to? Is it within the realm of possibility that Sony decided to subtly tease this project in its 'Live on PS5' trailer?
At this point, it's impossible to answer any those questions with any degree of certainty. It's a mystery that Nathan Drake himself would feel the need to investigate. If and when we learn more, we'll be sure to let you know.
Read more on Uncharted:
- How to play the Uncharted games in order
- Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves review - why your mileage may vary
- Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection trophies - full list
- How many chapters in Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection?
- Who is Henry Avery? Uncharted 4's opening quote explained
- How to upgrade Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection - transfer your PS4 save