In many ways, Uncharted has been an especially successful franchise helping to establish Naughty Dog as a dominant force largely responsible for the success of the PlayStation 3 in its latter stages.
Nathan Drake, the Uncharted series protagonist, became the unofficial mascot for PlayStation consoles and a true icon of gaming. Naughty Dog has given the series a proper send-off with an excellent conclusion in Uncharted 4: A Thief's End.
Rarely in gaming has a studio maintained the level of consistency that Naughty Dog has achieved. However, rumors suggest another chapter's entry in the series that has allegedly been in development for a while.
Uncharted 5 is apparently in the works by the new Sony studio, according to rumors.
The last entry in the series, a spin-off, Uncharted: The Lost Legacy, garnered all sorts of praise and acclaim even though it wasn't a mainline entry. The broad sentiment about it was that the studio could expand the series's lore and mythology with a new character without losing any of its appeal.
While a new entry in the series is undoubtedly exciting, many are concerned about how that impacts the story. The ending of Uncharted 4: A Thief's End was conclusive and well-made. To push the story past its endpoint is a risky business.
While Naughty Dog was the obvious choice, Sony is rumored to have chosen a newer studio for this monumental project.
Origins of the rumor
The rumor comes from Michael Mumbauer's Linkedin page. Mumbauer is the former studio head/senior director of visual arts at PlayStation World Wide Studios.
"His latest achievement is having built a brand new, all-star, AAA Action/Adventure development team for Playstation."
The description of "AAA Action/Adventure" should indicate that it is talking about Uncharted. The next part of that sentence is sealed the deal for many:
"Based in San Diego and utilizing proprietary engine technology, this team was assembled to expand upon existing franchises and craft all-new stories for the next generation of gamers."
While it doesn't explicitly state Uncharted, the fact that the new San Diego studio would "expand upon existing franchises" suggests that it could very well be Uncharted.
Would an Uncharted, among other franchises, sequel work alongside the ending of the last game?
While Lost Legacy was able to succeed independently, the studio rightly decided to frame its story as completely disconnected from the rest of the franchise. Barring the return of familiar characters from the series, Lost Legacy was a self-contained game that didn't draw too much from the rest of the franchise.
If a mainline sequel succeeds creatively, it must essentially reject the ending with a retcon or introduce new characters. By this point, the story arc is, and there is no way to carry that story forward.
Nate and Elena's offspring, Cassie Drake, has a lot of potential as a new fan-favorite with her own set of adventures. Yet, that feels cliched and probably not an exciting project from a creative standpoint.
But Sony's first-party studios have proven that they can find success with creatively risky and ambitious titles. One can only hope that the new San Diego studio is up to the task.