One of this year’s most important video game launches has been delayed. This morning Naughty Dog, the developer most well-known for producing the Uncharted series for Sony’s PlayStation consoles, confirmed that there’s a new Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End release date.
Neil Druckmann, the Creative Director at Naughty Dog announced the new Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End release date delay in a post on the PlayStation Blog. That the delay was announced there underscores its importance to the Sony ecosystem as a whole. Uncharted is as intertwined with the PlayStation experience as Halo is with Microsoft’s Xbox consoles.
There’s no good news for Uncharted lovers. In the post Druckmann says that the studio’s vision for Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End was “more ambitious” than the studio originally planned. He also talks a bit about the studio feeling a personal connection to series protagonist Nathan Drake. It’s for both of those reasons that the studio has decided to delay Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End.
Creating video games is often referred to as a fluid endeavor, something that it is hard to set a watch by. Goals change and sometimes bugs prevent video game developers from reaching the milestones they need to with the original release date they set. A delay of a a month usually indicates that there were a few thing that needed to be ironed out before release. Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End release date is now set for Spring 2016. That’s a huge delay, the game’s original release window was this fall.
Certainly the new Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End release date is a huge disappointment for many. The Uncharted series is seriously popular. It’s also exclusive to PlayStation. That meant it was a game that only PS4 owners could look forward to this fall. What’s more, the holiday season is perfect for exclusives because it gives video game console makers the bait they need to get gamers in stores and upgrading their older systems.
With it gone, Sony will need to find something else to get gamers into stores to buy the PS4. To be clear, not having Uncharted 4 this fall doesn’t necessarily completely damage Sony’s chances of sales dominance either. Perhaps the company will have an exclusive console bundle or a price cut of its own to boost sales and hold the attention of holiday shoppers. Having Uncharted 4 delayed just gives Sony less to work with as it battles Microsoft for console sales.
For its part, Microsoft’s Xbox One console has Rise of the Tomb Raider, Halo 5: Guardians and Quantum Break all coming for the holiday shopping rush. If Microsoft can get the word out about these games in a big way, they do at least stand a greater chance at selling more Xbox One’s than PS4s during the holiday.
Naughty Dog showed a bit of what PS4 owners could expect from Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End in a gameplay video during this year’s PlayStation Experience event.
There are going to be a lot of upset gamers, but the key takeaway from the new Uncharted 4 release date is that Naughty Dog is taking bugs and issues into account when it sets release dates. Last year, video game developers for both the Xbox One seemed to launch games that they knew weren’t ready. Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed Unity was so buggy that users sometimes got stuck traversing rooftops. Sony’s DriveClub ran into issues so bad that it still has yet to deliver a free version like it promised. Xbox One owners couldn’t get a reliable matchup in Halo: The Master Chief Collection for weeks.
In the end, the extra development time should leave PS4 owners with a decent game with as little bugs as possible, which should be Naughty Dog’s ultimate goal.