The wait for PlayStation 4 owners to get their hands on Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End just got a little longer. Naughty Dog announced, via the PlayStation Blog, that the third-person action-adventure game was delayed for a second time. Thankfully, the extra waiting time isn’t that much longer.
Naughty Dog Creative Director Neil Druckmann and Game Director Bruce Staley dropped the news just before Christmas that the March 18, 2015, release date is no more. Uncharted 4 is now targeting April 26, 2016, in North America and a day later in Europe.
The co-creators noted that they want to give Nathan Drake a “proper send off” with Uncharted 4 as it will be the last entry in the series. The time and care needed to make sure the final adventure is worthy of the flagship PlayStation series will need some added touch up.
“This is our largest Uncharted game to date, and the team has been working incredibly hard to meet the challenge of closing out the game’s development in a timely manner. However, as we approached our final deadlines and started wrapping up the game’s levels, we realized that several key sequences needed extra resources to bring them to the finish line. After carefully considering all of our options, we decided to extend our schedule, making sure that we get a few more polish passes before submitting our gold master (the final disc for manufacturing).
“Pushing the date is not an easy choice, and we wouldn’t do it if we didn’t feel in our hearts it’s the best course of action for the game. To you, our loyal fans, we hope you’ll accept our sincere apology. We know many of you have been waiting patiently for Nathan Drake’s final chapter, and now we humbly ask you to wait a bit longer.
“On April 26, 2016 the most ambitious installment in the Uncharted series will be in your hands.”
This is actually the second delay for Uncharted 4. The game was originally scheduled to be released this fall, but Staley and Druckmann announced the first delay in March of this past year for much the same reason. This left a gaping hole in the PlayStation 4 lineup for the fall, but Sony wisely filled it up with third-party timed exclusive deals with Star Wars: Battlefront, Destiny: The Taken King, and Disney Infinity 3.0 among others. This allowed the PS4 to continue its sales domination both in North America and worldwide as the console topped all sales charts.
While the Uncharted 4 delay is a little more than a month, it does have the added benefit of spreading out games during the first half 2016. Late January, February, and March have turned into something of a second holiday shopping season over the past few years. This is thanks in part to the number of games delayed from the previous fall, and also publishers pushing out games prior to their fiscal year end, which typically ends on March 31.
The delay puts the release of Uncharted 4 not long after Dark Souls III, but a good distance away from more similar games, such as Tom Clancy’s The Division (March 8) and Far Cry Primal (February 23). That is assuming that neither of those game suffer from further delays either, of course.
Expect more third-party deals from Sony in 2016, but possibly not as many as 2015. Even more PlayStation 4 exclusives are coming next year and Uncharted 4 is leading the charge. Sony understands the importance of the series, which is why a special trailer was played before Star Wars: The Force Awakens in select theaters.
What do you think of the Uncharted 4 delay? Sound off in the comments below.
[Image via Uncharted 4]