The Uncharted series may be put aside for an indefinite period, but it wouldn’t be easy to come up with an Uncharted 5 suddenly…
The situation of Uncharted 5 is difficult only because this series has never been known for its originality. Instead, it’s thanks to Naughty Dog’s rich storytelling that the treasure-hunting IP has lasted this long.
Uncharted technically has eight titles in total, but of those eight, there’s a digital card game and a mobile-only game that aren’t at the same level of quality or relevance as Naughty Dog’s mainline instalments and standalone expansion, The Lost Legacy, and Bend’s PSV spin-off, Golden Abyss.
These eight also include re-release collections: Bluepoint’s Nathan Drake Collection trilogy of remasters, and Naughty Dog and Iron Galaxy’s Legacy of Thieves Collection, which consists of A Thief’s End and Lost Legacy. Therefore, if we break it down to the most important games, six games remain as the cornerstones of the Uncharted franchise. A new Uncharted would probably be the fifth mainline instalment. (Unless it’s another standalone or spin-off.) Regardless, it would come at the cost of Naughty Dog really evaluating the series to decide whether or not another single-player game would be best for it.
Naughty Dog needs Uncharted 5 to prove it can let go and move on
There’s no concrete evidence that a live-action adaptation would force Naughty Dog to focus on one IP over another. But now there are two that could end up affecting your future workload.
After the success of the first season of HBO’s The Last of Us, it would only make sense for Naughty Dog to outline a third game, if for no other reason than that this partnership will continue after the adaptation of The Last of Us Part 2 flourish.
Regardless, Uncharted only recently got its own live-action adaptation. The Tom Holland and Mark Wahlberg-led popcorn movie looks like it might get a sequel. However, whether this is enough inspiration for Naughty Dog to continue the IP with another game is uncertain.
However, Naughty Dog, in addition to persistently producing remasters, never seemed to be driven solely by what kind of efforts to succeed – if that were the case, then they would have released a Last of Us Part 2 much sooner than they did.
Uncharted is now in the odd position of being sort of retired and dusted. At least since Nathan Drake’s story ended, and Chloe Frazer directed her own well-deserved Uncharted semi-sequel.
Naughty Dog may have nowhere to grow, and that’s okay
Since the series has revolved around Nolan North’s fantastic portrayal of Drake for so long, it might not make sense to continue the franchise in a new direction just for the sake of continuing it. Like The Last of Us, Naughty Dog can put it away for as long as it wants. Until he can get something worthwhile out of it.
A prequel would have to deal with the Drake story, which would inevitably and retroactively cause continuity errors that ripple through the narrative.
Spin-offs should have authentic stories and characters that can drive the franchise longer than a single entry. Also, Naughty Dog should continue to develop the IP so that Uncharted 5 doesn’t look like a copycat of games that are a decade or more older.
Remakes of the original Uncharted games would also be interesting. I could achieve the same effect as The Last of Us Part 1, bringing the graphical fidelity to the level of A Thief’s End and The Lost Legacy. But that wouldn’t make much sense if Naughty Dog doesn’t plan to release a new chapter at some point. There is also a rumour about an Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune remake. If true, it suggests that an Uncharted 5 is undoubtedly a possibility. Otherwise, Naughty Dog might have foreseen that Uncharted was as long as possible and picked the most optimal time to get out.