While Uncharted 4: A Thief's End is the final game in the series that franchise creator Naughty Dog plans to make and the last one to star Nathan Drake, it's possible the series may live on with a new developer.
The series has sold millions of copies (21 million-plus by Sony's latest count) and a movie is in development. So it seems clear that there would be a commercial opportunity for a fifth game in the series. While nothing is confirmed at this stage, A Thief's End director Neil Druckmann has now said he'd be happy for another studio to take over, but only if they were able to nail the "essence" of Uncharted.
"If they made a great game I'd be excited," Druckmann told GamesRadar. "I'd want to play an Uncharted I didn't work on. It'd be a lot of fun."
Of course, Naughty Dog would still be involved with the next Uncharted in some capacity.
"Obviously, we would have a big part in it as the creators of the franchise," Druckmann said. "We'd just want to make sure they get the essence of it right."
All entries in the core Uncharted series to date have been developed by Naughty Dog. PlayStation Vita games Golden Abyss and Fight for Fortune were made by Sony Bend, while The Nathan Drake Collection was developed by Bluepoint Games.
It remains to be seen which studio might take over for Naughty Dog, if the series does continue after A Thief's End.
Naughty Dog isn't leaving Uncharted behind right away, as the studio will support A Thief's End will DLC for the game's multiplayer mode. Additionally, Naughty Dog is making the franchise's first-ever single-player add-on for A Thief's End. After all major work on A Thief's End is done, Naughty Dog will revisit its prototypes, including a Last of Us sequel and other brand-new projects, Druckmann recently said.
Whatever Naughty Dog makes next, it could be a more technically impressive game than A Thief's End. "There is no doubt that the next thing we do, we're gonna get even more out of that PlayStation," lead designer Ricky Cambier said.
For lots more on A Thief's End, which comes out on May 10 for PlayStation 4, you can check out GameSpot's recently published hands-on preview, "How The Last of Us made Uncharted 4 a better game."
You can also check out GameSpot's interview with Druckmann, writer Josh Scherr, and Cambier. In the interview, the developers talk about saying goodbye to Nathan Drake and the Uncharted series, A Thief's End's stealth elements, and a lot more.
If there are indeed more Uncharted games after A Thief's End, what studio would you like to see make them? Let us know in the comments below!