Uncharted: The Lost Legacy, the upcoming Uncharted side story starring Chloe Frazer and Nadine Ross, will almost certainly be the final entry in the franchise from developer Naughty Dog, the studio said in an interview with Game Informer.
The adventures of series hero Nathan Drake concluded in last year’s Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, but Naughty Dog is following up that acclaimed game with a stand-alone title featuring the franchise’s strongest female characters not named Elena Fisher.
Uncharted: The Lost Legacy, which Naughty Dog announced at PlayStation Experience 2016, will tell the story of Frazer — who debuted in Uncharted 2: Among Thieves and also appeared in Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception — enlisting the help of Uncharted 4’s Nadine Ross in the search for an Indian artifact known as the Tusk of Ganesh. The Lost Legacy takes place about a year after the events of Uncharted 4, in which Ross eventually decided to abandon the hunt for Captain Henry Avery’s treasure in a moment reminiscent of the ending of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.
Naughty Dog is developing The Lost Legacy itself, and the game will likely wrap up the Uncharted franchise for good — at least as far as Naughty Dog is concerned.
“I would say that Naughty Dog doing an Uncharted after this is unlikely,” studio co-president Evan Wells told Game Informer. “I would never say never, but we've got The Last of Us Part 2 on our plates and there's so much other stuff that [we want to explore].”
Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune, the first entry in the series, was released on the PlayStation 3 in November 2007, which means that Naughty Dog has been working on the franchise for more than a decade at this point. The only Uncharted game that Naughty Dog didn’t make — aside from a card battler and a mobile puzzle game — is Sony Bend’s Uncharted: Golden Abyss, which was a PlayStation Vita launch title.
“We really love the franchise, but the studio has limited resources and lots of other ideas,” Wells added.
Wells’ comments echo sentiments that members of the Naughty Dog team have previously expressed. At PlayStation Experience 2015, six months before the release of Uncharted 4, lead game designer Robert Cogburn told Kotaku that Naughty Dog wanted to free itself from the ever-growing constraints — both story- and gameplay-wise — presented by a long-running franchise.
“You struggle with having to answer the same questions over and over again in any franchise,” said Cogburn. “That’s not to say the questions will be the same in games we make going forward, but as a studio we grow tired of answering those same types of questions in the same fiction. It’s gonna be fun for us to really embark on new ideas and start fleshing those out [in a new series].”
That new series is The Last of Us — in addition to The Lost Legacy, Naughty Dog announced The Last of Us Part 2 at PSX 2016. The follow-up to the critically acclaimed post-apocalyptic adventure from 2013 focuses on Ellie, the co-star of the original game.
Of course, none of this necessarily means that there will never be another Uncharted game after The Lost Legacy. Naughty Dog is a wholly owned subsidiary of Sony’s PlayStation division, so Sony controls the rights to the Uncharted brand. If Sony wants to make another Uncharted game but Naughty Dog declines, Sony could just put a different studio on it.
The Lost Legacy is coming later this year; The Last of Us Part 2 does not yet have a release window.