Uncharted 4’s Development Troubles Highlighted In New Book


Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End has become nothing short of a masterpiece on PlayStation 4, as many consider it a crowning triumph for Naughty Dog, and a true masterstroke for the hardware. That said, it wasn’t without its speed bumps.

Over the course of its development, Amy Hennig, who served as a writer for the series for many years, departed and left to work on a new Star Wars game alongside Visceral Games instead. There were nasty rumors that Naughty Dog heads Neil Druckmann and Bruce Straley kicked her out, though the studio has denied that story.

That said, a new book from Jason Schreier called Blood, Sweat and Pixels has provided a little background on the situation, as well as Sam Drake’s introduction into the game. A few excerpts have made their way onto Reddit, but we threw in a few paragraphs from the book below.

Note: there are slight spoilers ahead if you haven’t played the game yet, so proceed accordingly.

Uncharted 4, as Hennig envisioned it, would introduce the world to Nathan Drake’s old partner, Sam. We hadn’t seen Sam in previous Uncharted games, because for fifteen years Nathan had thought he was dead, left behind during a Panamanian prison escape gone awry. In Hennig’s version of Uncharted 4, Sam would be one of the main villains, bitter toward Nathan for leaving him to die.

“Over the course of the story, as Nathan tried to pull away from his roots as a treasure hunter, the player would find out that he and Sam were actually brothers. Eventually they’d heal their relationship and unify against the game’s real antagonist, a nasty thief named Rafe (voiced by the actor Alan Tudyk) who had served time with Sam in prison.

“Some say the Uncharted 4 team didn’t get the staff and resources it needed to survive, because The Last of Us and Left Behind had vacuumed up so much of Naughty Dog’s attention. Others say that Amy Hennig had trouble making decisions and that the nascent game wasn’t shaping up very well. Some who were working on Uncharted 4 wished that there was a more cohesive direction. Others thought it was perfectly understandable, considering how small the Uncharted 4 staff was, that the game hadn’t coalesced yet.

“Several people who have worked for Naughty Dog say Druckmann and Straley stopped seeing eye-to-eye with Hennig, and that they had fundamental disagreements on where to take the Uncharted series. When Hennig left, she signed a non-disparagement agreement with the studio that would prevent both her and Naughty Dog from making negative public comments about what had happened, according to people familiar with the arrangement.”

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You can get more information about the book here. The paperback is also 40% off on Amazon.

Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End is available now for PlayStation 4.