For those who have played Unexplored Golden Abyss on the PlayStation Vita, you may recall that the game received a multiplayer update after launch. Now, that wasn’t exactly what many were expecting as it came in the form of a deck of cards, rather than a similar game in Uncharted 2. Well, it turns out it wasn’t. This may not have been Bend Studios’ original vision as it has been revealed that the studio initially came up with something closer to the hit social game, “Mafia Wars” for the Uncharted Golden Abyss multiplayer.
In a (allegedly) green light presentation recently released by Bend Studios, the studio details a private meeting that took place at Sony on October 13, 2009, two years before the release of the PlayStation Vita and Uncharted Golden Abyss. During the short five-minute presentation, we got a first look at a prototype for a new Uncharted game that would later become Golden Abyss.
Codenamed Uncharted NGP (Next Generation Portable), the original pitch of the project was not much different from the final version of Golden Abyss. It was set to take place in Central America with the story centering around the search for the lost city of Quivira with the return of Nathan Drake, Elena Fisher, and Victor Sullivan. Sully and Nate both returned in the final version, but Fisher would be replaced by Marisa Chase, a new character introduced in Golden Abyss.
The video presentation then showed various gameplay features and how Bend Studios planned to use all of the features of the PS Vita. This included its camera, touchscreen, rear touchpad, gyroscope features, among others.
Additionally, the studio detailed that Uncharted NGP would have a total budget of $ 13.5 million. For comparison, the two Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune and Uncharted 2: Among Thieves had a budget of $ 20 million. According to the slides, for the studio and publisher to break even with $ 4.5 million in global marketing spend, they would have to sell a total of 647,000 units, with a return on investment (return on investment) of 15% set at 744,000 units, and 35% ROS (return on sale) at 1.08 million units. As reported by Gamingbolt in June 2012, Golden Abyss had reached a total of 500,000 units sold worldwide.
Take this information as you wish, although it is important to realize that this was a presentation to Sony, and not exact details of the actual budget earned for the project. Bend Studios could have had more, they could have had less. Additionally, these estimates were based on an expected retail price of $ 32, while the final version sold for $ 49.99. Even taking inflation into account for the two years it took to publish, that still puts it just under $ 17 more than originally expected. If my calculations are correct (647K units times 32 for breakeven price, divide by 50 for new units sold until breakeven) and based on previous budget information, Golden Abyss should have hit the threshold of profitability sometimes in 2012 with some investment spent back. However, retail cuts aren’t factored in, which the original $ 32 might have taken, so it’s hard to say if the stock actually broke or made a profit for the company.
While this is some interesting new information to learn, one of the most exciting parts of the presentation was about how the team had plans for full social integration where players would compete for glory while collecting money. sets of unique and rare artifacts. . It doesn’t seem like a far cry from the Uncharted Fight For Fortune card game released soon after.
After a closer inspection of the content included in the presentation, there were additional cliff notes that expanded on what this mode was, including some aspects of real-world augmented reality.
Combine your skills with players around the world to discover, identify, and collect unique and rare artifact sets. Compete against players to become the richest and most famous treasure hunter. Use NGP-based augmented reality to interact with virtual artifacts in the real world!
All of these collectibles are part of the ever-active game of competing with players around the world to become the richest and most famous treasure hunter:
- Think of Mafia Wars but set in the Uncharted universe using features specific to NGP for the actions the player must take to advance in the game.
- Work online with treasure hunters from around the world to earn funds and experience, while becoming a more skilled treasure hunter
- Operate either as a specialized entrepreneur or as a member of a cooperative group
- Use the unique capabilities of the NGP to find and identify artifacts, using AR (augmented reality) technology to create a 3D scan of a virtual object, repair a broken vase or decipher
an ancient parchment
- Display artifacts found in public museums online or private collections to increase your fame or sell them on the black market to amass your fortune
- Build your own private collection as you move up the ranks from treasure hunter to curator of your own private museum
Only one screenshot has been provided to show one of the menus.
Definitely very different from the card game we’ve had, although it’s hard to say if it would have been successful or not. If I dared to guess, I doubt it would have helped change the short-lived life of the PS Vita.
While there isn’t a brand new Uncharted game announced for release, Sony has revealed Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection for PS5 and PC, which houses Uncharted 4: Among Thieves and Uncharted: The Lost Legacy, and is expected to arrive. in 2022.