Nate and Elena gear up for their imminent retirement.

Naughty Dog Is Done With One of Its Biggest Franchises, so What’s Next?

Well guys, it’s been a good run, but now it’s time to let papa retire. Nathan Drake has climbed mountains, fallen out of airplanes, and gotten gnawed on by zombies. He’s certainly lived a thrilling life, but now, he’s married with a kid. He wears khaki shorts and owns a boat—you know, to go with his tasteful beach bungalow. The man is officially in Margaritaville, and I say it’s well-deserved, even if we’ll miss him.

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And no, I’m not just being silly for silliness’ sake. Neil Druckmann has confirmed that developer Naughty Dog will no longer be working on future Uncharted titles:

Unlike other series that have ended somewhat anticlimactically, this feels just right. Uncharted was exactly what it was supposed to be: a zany adventure game that let you be Indiana Jones for a few hours, more or less. It pushed the boundaries of its time and undoubtedly left an impact on modern gaming, in more positive ways than otherwise. And with the way the market has changed so drastically over the last few years, this seems like the perfect time to let ol’ Nate put his feet up.

Now, what comes next? In an interview with The New Yorker, this much was revealed:

His next project, he revealed, was a game that was “structured more like a TV show” than anything else Naughty Dog had made—for which he’d taken a highly unusual step. He wasn’t writing the script alone, or with a single partner. He was assembling a writers’ room.

Alex Barasch, The New Yorker

This sounds to me like it could be any number of things. It could be a Life is Strange-type game, stretched out over multiple chapters. It could be what David Cage has tried to do for so many years (hopefully without a hamfisted “press X to protest for civil rights” section). But, ultimately, I’m excited and curious to see what comes next.

As for the future of The Last of Us, Druckmann had this to say in the above IGN article, after speaking about the multiplayer focus of Part 3:

“Our process is the same thing we did when we did Part 2, which is if we can come up with a compelling story that has this universal message and statement about love — just like the first and second game did — then we will tell that story. If we can’t come up with something, we have a very strong ending with Part 2 and that will be the end.”


Fair enough! I’d personally be happy leaving The Last of Us where it ended in Part 2, but if they have more story to tell, then I certainly can’t complain. Granted, I’ve never been much of a multiplayer person, but the few times I did play the original TLOU multiplayer were a blast. Where I could see some potential problems is in diverging the narrative from the original cast, since so much of the IP’s heart is in that original cast. But considering that heart was built off the power of human connections, I figure, as long as they don’t detract from that original intent, they can’t make too much of a gaffe.

Anyways, be sure to leave a congratulatory note for our favorite adventuring dad Nathan Drake in the comments, because lord knows he’ll be spending a lot of time on the internet now that he’s retired. You’d think a “guy like him” wouldn’t be into the internet or anything, but I guarantee you, Cassie will show him how Google works and then he won’t be able to stop himself from going down a video essay rabbit hole. It’s his Donut Drake era; let the man live.

(Featured Image: Naughty Dog)

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Madeline Carpou
Madeline (she/her) is a staff writer with a focus on AANHPI and mixed-race representation. She enjoys covering a wide variety of topics, but her primary beats are music and gaming. Her journey into digital media began in college, primarily regarding audio: in 2018, she started producing her own music, which helped her secure a radio show and co-produce a local history podcast through 2019 and 2020. After graduating from UC Santa Cruz summa cum laude, her focus shifted to digital writing, where she's happy to say her History degree has certainly come in handy! When she's not working, she enjoys taking long walks, playing the guitar, and writing her own little stories (which may or may not ever see the light of day).