Don Poole, a former Naughty Dog employee who worked as an environment modeler for the firm, has suggested Uncharted may have been a fantasy game if not for Sony feeling pressure form the success of shooters on Xbox 360.
Speaking in an interview in the latest issue of Play, Poole said Sony said to instead cut the fantasy aspect out and make Uncharted 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,” he said. “One was a forest world where the antagonists lived underground. 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.”
Poole said this more realistic style was ordered from Sony not just to Naughty Dog, but to all studios under the corporate umbrella.
“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,” he said. “The pressure from Xbox’s success with gritty shooters was a very real force on our direction at that time.”
“We had a lot of internal grumbling about the realist bent. More of the old dogs were from the Crash and Jak era and preferred that more whimsical style. But alas, that was a losing battle.”