Today, PC gamers are treated to the first Naughty Dog to ever grace the platform. For those unfamiliar with Naughty Dog, the company was founded nearly forty years ago as JAM Software before changing the name to its current one in 1989.
Naughty Dog rose to fame with Crash Bandicoot, released for the original PlayStation in 1996. The game's success spawned an entire franchise (and even spin-offs like Crash Team Racing), persuading publisher Sony Computer Entertainment to purchase the company in 2001.
At that point, the PlayStation 2 had launched, and Naughty Dog switched to a brand new IP: Jak & Daxter. After three installments and another spin-off racing game, Naughty Dog was once again ready to move on to something entirely different and more serious: Uncharted.
The rest is history. While their previous franchises were more than successful, Uncharted propelled the Santa Monica-headquartered studio into another league entirely. It is, therefore, no coincidence that Naughty Dog is now dipping its toes into the PC gaming pool with this franchise.
Commenting on the release of Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection for PC, the developers also explained why they left out the first three games (now available as The Nathan Drake Collection package on PS4).
When considering what to debut on PC with, we looked through our catalog and decided the beautiful, globetrotting stories of the UNCHARTED series felt like a natural fit to introduce to players all around the world. Now, you may be wondering why we didn’t start with the original UNCHARTED. We felt that, while Nathan Drake’s first three adventures from the PlayStation 3 console still stand the test of time narratively, they would require a major overhaul visually to stand up to modern PC releases and the expectations players may have.
Naughty Dog also talked about the PC launch of Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection as a transformative pivot point for the company, setting the stages for future releases on both PC and PlayStation as per Sony's plans.
The UNCHARTED series’ PC debut is both thrilling and reflective, a chance for us to take the lessons learned about offering our games on a new platform and the expectations and opportunities that go along with it. In learning so much through our partners at Iron Galaxy, we’re able to look ahead to the future of Naughty Dog games on PC more excitedly than ever.
First and foremost, we learned, particularly through our partnership, what it takes to bring our own engine to parity to deliver on PC hardware. UNCHARTED 4 and UNCHARTED: The Lost Legacy are already beautiful games in their own right, and we wanted to maintain that quality in the PC release.
The PC space is also one that offers users a ton of flexibility in hardware specs, controls, and more. As we’ve primarily only ever had to focus on considering one or two system specs in the past, this was simply eye-opening for us. Having primarily developed for console controllers, we had to learn about the preferences and flexibility keyboard and mouse controls offer, and we found that we had to re-evaluate certain game mechanics to fit the new input methods.
We also needed to account for the variability of PC hardware as it pertains to data loading, and so we reworked our engine to add a "safety valve" of sorts to ensure a smooth gameplay experience across various PC specs.
Learning all of this through our partnership with Iron Galaxy Studios only helps to bolster Naughty Dog’s understanding of PC development, and allow us to deliver the quality you expect in our future releases. We’re excited to be offering The Last of Us Part I on PC in the future, and know that, moving forward, adding PC development to the way we develop games, which in no way undermines the importance of PlayStation 5 as our primary platform, will continue to benefit our team in the long run.
UNCHARTED: Legacy of Thieves Collection’s PC release is a transformative pivot point for Naughty Dog. We not only have another chance to celebrate our beloved franchise but also introduce it to so many new players. In doing so, we set the stage for Naughty Dog to deliver high-quality games on PlayStation 5, with the option of a PC release as well, with an understanding of how to cater to the different needs of both audiences now and in the future.
The PC release of The Last of Us, arguably Naughty Dog's best franchise, shouldn't be far off. Stay tuned to get all the latest updates.