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Uncharted Almost Wasn't Uncharted

A simple word mishap could spell disaster in business.

Did you know that one of the most acclaimed franchises of the previous generation almost wasn't called "Uncharted?" Naughty Dog feared the title would be detrimental to the game's success in the UK, believe it or not.

In a recent IGN interview, Naughty Dog co-president Evan Wells said his team had settled on the name, but former PlayStation boss Phil Harrison (who has since moved on to Microsoft) thought the title was a bad idea. And why?

"We were all ready to go out with [Uncharted]. And then Phil Harrison caught wind of it, and he's like, 'no, we can’t name it Uncharted.' In the UK, if you have a game that's 'uncharted,' that means it didn't do well, it didn't crack the Top 10. So he said, 'no, we can't do that.'"

So, when the trailer for what would later be officially called Uncharted: Drake's Fortune was shown at E3 2006, only the Naughty Dog logo was shown. This led to gamers everywhere settling on the "Dude Raider" moniker because really, it looked like Tomb Raider only with a dude. Harrison eventually changed his mind, which is why now, any avid gamer knows the name "Uncharted."

I think it was the right call, don't you?

Tags: uncharted, uncharted games, uncharted ps3, naughty dog

1/2/2014 11:27:23 AM Ben Dutka

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Comments (13 posts)

bigrailer19
Thursday, January 02, 2014 @ 11:49:44 AM
Reply

Great call. It fits, it's clever and obviously now it's well known.

This game at first went through a lot. I've read that the game originally was set in an under water world, and that it wasn't anything like it is now. I'm sure most games start out as one thing and morph, but all I can say is as a huge fan I'm glad it turned out like it did!

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MRSUCCESS
Thursday, January 02, 2014 @ 11:58:49 AM
Reply

Uncharted always plays well
Looks phenomenal
Has great settings
Somewhat interesting characters

The story on the other hand is kind of... corny and that's probably why I am not crazy over the game. Am I only one that feels this way? It's strange.

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bigrailer19
Thursday, January 02, 2014 @ 12:11:24 PM

Yes. The story and characters is what drives these games.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, January 02, 2014 @ 1:01:01 PM

I thought 3 was corny because it made hash of the historical concepts behind the premise, but I don't have any problems with the basic Indiana Jones style of "Quasi-realistic adventure meets supernatural elements".

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Teddie9
Thursday, January 02, 2014 @ 1:06:57 PM

I'm with you on the story. I mainly like it for the cinematic sequences and how good they feel to play. Neither would I use the word interesting to describe the characters, rather that their entertaining.

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Beamboom
Thursday, January 02, 2014 @ 12:03:06 PM
Reply

Wonder what they would have called it instead.
"Indiana Smith"? :)

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Underdog15
Thursday, January 02, 2014 @ 3:52:04 PM

hehe

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WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, January 02, 2014 @ 1:03:34 PM
Reply

There are too many title swaps between the UK and US with various properties. It's stupid, just pick something. Either it's Indigo Prophecy or it's Fahrenheit damnit! Glad Phillydog didn't get his way.

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Underdog15
Thursday, January 02, 2014 @ 3:52:25 PM
Reply

Ah well... He's with Microsoft now. :D

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Tim Speed24
Thursday, January 02, 2014 @ 5:30:47 PM
Reply

I don't like the name "Uncharted" my-self. Everywhere Nathan goes has been "Charted", he's always finding (or already has) maps and notes from the area he's in and where to look for things.

The first Uncharted was following where Sir Francis Drake already had been.

The Adventures of Nathan Drake would have made sense to me, for a game title.

Last edited by Tim Speed24 on 1/2/2014 5:31:25 PM

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Beamboom
Monday, January 06, 2014 @ 8:06:11 AM

Very good points.

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Gordo
Thursday, January 02, 2014 @ 7:48:00 PM
Reply

I'm British and I wouldn't exactly think of uncharted meaning it didn't get into the game charts. That is slightly grammatically incorrect.

Uncharted definitely means more about maps and unexplored locations.

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ricksterj
Sunday, January 05, 2014 @ 11:16:27 AM
Reply

Amen! Why is the UK so DAMN picky/touchy about what product naming anyway? Suck it up.

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