Neil Druckmann confirms that the staple ‘Doughnut Drake’ skin available in previous games in the series is not present in the upcoming Uncharted 4.
We already know that the team at Naughty Dog expects the ending of the upcoming Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End will prove to be divisive among fans of the series. However, there’s now word that a well-loved character from the first three games in the franchise is set to be axed from the fourth title.
That character is Nathan Drake himself — although, admittedly, it’s not the svelte version of the protagonist that typically adopts a starring role. Instead, it’s the obese alternate skin that’s been present in every mainline instalment thus far, known as ‘Doughnut Drake’ to some and ‘Fat Drake’ to others.
Previously, the skin has been available via some pretty challenging unlock requirements. However, creative director for Uncharted 4 Neil Druckmann has now confirmed that Doughnut Drake will not make an appearance in the hotly anticipated sequel, according to a report from Gamespot.
Druckmann notes that Naughty Dog actually had plans to include the skin, even going as far as to create the 3D model that would be used in the game. However, upon reflection the team decided that the joke had run its course, and that the group had “matured beyond that” according to the director.
It’s no secret that Naughty Dog has been on a path towards more serious output for many years. While the studio first rose to major prominence on the back of the classic Crash Bandicoot series, there’s been a concerted effort over the twenty years since to deliver more refined, mature experiences — and jokes like Doughnut Drake don’t really match that outlook.
Druckmann explained that Naughty Dog “didn’t want to have a laugh at someone’s expense.” Given that the studio has previously been commended for efforts to promote diversity in the characters presented in its games, it’s easy to see why the skin could be seen as something of a double standard.
Of course, the decision can also be linked to the fact that Uncharted 4 is being billed as the conclusion to the franchise as we know it. If the game is to be the epic conclusion to Drake’s journey, the weight of proceedings might be undercut slightly if players are able to experience the ride with a 400 pound version of the protagonist.
Despite the disappearance of Doughnut Drake, Uncharted 4 certainly looks to be shaping up nicely. Earlier this week, the developers behind Quantum Break made a point of praising the upcoming release — even though it will no doubt be compared to their own third-person shooter.
Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End is set to release for PlayStation 4 on May 10, 2016.