Naughty Dog has no desire to abandon its hugely successful Uncharted franchise when the PlayStation 4 rolls around, the studio has told VideoGamer.com.
The Sony-owned Santa Monica team has previously worked on a new franchise with each console generation - Crash Bandicoot on PSone, Jak and Daxter on PS2 and Uncharted on PS3 - but the studio insists the move to PlayStation 4 won't necessarily mean the end of Nathan Drake.
"It just happened to work out that way," said game director Justin Richmond. "We've only ever done one franchise per generation just because we're a one-team studio, and that's something we've always stuck with."
Community strategist Arne Meyer added: "The games changed because the technology changed. We were trying to create games around the technology. Jak was doing a lot of interesting things in terms of design; we had a game design and a game world that fit with what the new technology had. With the PS3, technology had advanced to the point where we could do stylised realism. There's a tonne of reasons, but that was one of the reasons why things started to progress that way. We were looking for something different, because Jak wasn't really fitting into that. It felt more interesting to do that."
"When we switched over from Jak to Uncharted, people wanted something new," added Richmond. "People get bored of working on the same stuff over and over. You don't want to just slavishly remake games to what the demand is. You want to be interested in what you're working on, and the second that we get bored that's when the games will be something that no-one wants to play, right? We've never said that Uncharted is two games, or three games or whatever. There's not a masterplan sitting in the studio, [adopts evil genius voice] "WE WILL MAKE FIVE OF THESE!" Our fans are huge on this game, and they're already asking, 'When is Uncharted 4 coming out?!' 'You haven't even played 3 yet, calm down!'
"As long as people are willing to buy these games, and as long as we feel like we have an interesting story to tell, I'm absolutely happy to keep making them. But at some point, there's going to come a point where people in the studio are interested in doing something new, and we'll move on."
Richmond concluded: "In terms of hardware generations and all that junk, we're just making games. At this point hardware is so powerful to begin with, it's almost a secondary concern. The leap into the next generation is going to be amazing, right? But I don't think it's going to be something that demands us to make a totally new franchise. If we want to, the option's there."
Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception will be released November 2.