Naughty Dog is delaying Uncharted 4: A Thief's End once again, now scheduling the Nathan Drake saga's conclusion for May 10 -- a delay of just over two weeks.
Earlier today Naught Dog and Sony announced a multiplayer stress test this next weekend for Uncharted 4: A Thief's End. It was a surprise reveal. That is, the leak yesterday made it not particularly surprising, but rather the fact that Naughty Dog would be running an open beta after previously saying they wouldn't. A second announcement made within the past few hours shows why Naughty Dog might want to cheer Uncharted fans up a bit, as Uncharted 4: A Thief's End has been delayed yet again.
Uncharted 4 has unfortunately been the victim of several delays up to now, including multiple short delays pushing the game further into spring. The latest is just a small delay - two weeks in total - and pushes the release date from April 26 to May 10. That shouldn't be too painstaking of a wait for most Uncharted fans, but the more the game gets delayed, the more players are wondering if there's an issue worth worrying about.
Sony Computer Entertainment of America CEO and President Shawn Layden decided to announce the delay to fans, and also apologize directly:
"We know this news might be disappointing, and we are sorry to have to make you wait a little longer to play Naughty Dog’s latest. The good news is that the game is phenomenal — we are fully confident that it will be worth the wait and the team at Naughty Dog is eager as ever for you to experience Nathan Drake’s final adventure."
Layden explains that the delay will provide extra "manufacturing time," meaning the game is not being held back for development issues. Sony's simply taking the time to prepare the biggest exclusive to-date.
Delays this close to release typically have little to do with the development of the game. There isn't not much a studio, even one as notable as Naughty Dog, can do in two weeks. In all likelihood Uncharted 4 is probably as finished as a game goes without going gold.
What's the real cause of the delay then? "Manufacturing" is such a nebulous topic, not to mention unbelievable considering that it'd be difficult to find another game delayed for "manufacturing" issues in recent years. What's more likely is any of a handful of other delay causes that happen so late in development. Issues that may include strategic positioning, marketing campaigns, online server infrastructure, or -- and this is hardly even worth considering -- turnover within the company.
The safest bets would be on either server infrastructure or marketing issues. The Uncharted 4 multiplayer beta this weekend shows that Naughty Dog is still hard at work on that part of the game.
April 26 was actually a solid release date, with no other major release scheduled aside from Dark Souls III on April 12. Moving into May, however, will put it right up against the launches of Battleborn, Doom, and Homefront: The Revolution.
Uncharted 4: A Thief's End will launch exclusively on the PlayStation 4 starting March 10, delayed 2 weeks past its previous April 26 release date. For more information on the upcoming open stress test, head over to the PlayStation Blog.