At one time, Ubisoft considered creating a sequel to Far Cry 3 which would expand upon the story and remain in the same location. That idea lasted "about four days."
According to a developer post on the Ubisoft blog by senior communications manager Gary Steinman, Far Cry 4's executive producer Dan Hay said after a few days, the teams decided it really didn't want to create Far Cry 3.5.
“We definitely had the option of making a 3.5, of making a choice to just stay in the same location with the same characters,” said Hay. “We talked about the idea of taking Jason’s story and growing it, maybe figuring out a way to bring Vaas back.
"Very quickly we realized that it wasn’t going to be a thing that we wanted to do. So we stopped that conversation and said, that’s the end of the 3.5 conversation – which lasted probably about four days.”
One of the early talking points during the brainstorming session, was the ability to ride an elephant - something Hay said he really wanted to do - after that, ideas started snowballing and thus, you have Far Cry 4 instead of 3.5.
Hay went on to state the development meeting felt like "the wild west" in so much the team kept tossing ideas, none of which were tossed aside until delved into completely.
“We like the fact that somebody’s going to be able to kick out an idea that people will think is way too much," said hay, "and then somebody else goes, 'Maybe that’s why you should do it. Maybe that’s what makes sense.'"
This is where verticality, the ability to fly, new enemy AI, and co-op came into play: the team "wanting it all" included in the game.
“We want to have an organic drone that can effectively be used as a weapon, and everybody’s like, 'seriously?' And you want the other thing with the outposts, and you want the other stuff...?'
"Yes. We want it all.”
Who doesn't, really.
Far Cry 4 lands on PC, PlayStation 3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One in November.
You can read up on Pat's take of the game through here if you missed it. His write up talks about riding elephants and such.