In a recent interview with PLAY, Don Poole, former Environment Modeller at Naughty Dog, spoke about how the Uncharted series was planned to be more of a “fantasy” game and even Tolkien like, until Sony stepped in, pushing the developer to make the game “more realistic”…
“We were talking about a more ‘realistic’ game in terms of how it was modelled and rendered but the concepts were much more far out. One was a forest world where the antagonists lived underground,” explained Poole.
“It had elements of Tolkien in for sure. Sony kept pushing for a more realistic game in all respects. The market had changed a lot by then. The demographic was older and gritty shooters were really dominating. Sony wanted very much to get into that market share, it pushed all of its developers in this direction.”
“So the big push from Sony, not just at Naughty Dog but at all of Sony’s development companies at the time, was to craft games for PlayStation 3 that were much more realistic. The pressure from Xbox’s success with gritty shooters was a very real force on our direction at that time.”
Regardless of what style Naughty Dog wanted the Uncharted series to take, who can argue with the final product? In our opinion, Nobody. Although the series antagonists living underground in a Tolkien like world would have probably been pretty cool as well.