Naughty Dog’s Uncharted series almost went by a different name, thanks to a corporate veto.
Remember E3 2006? That was the one with the big PlayStation 3 reveal, the infamous $600 price point, and a snazzy trailer for a new game from Naughty Dog. That game (which we now know as the debut of Uncharted) was left conspicuously untitled, leading many gamers to jokingly name it Dude Raider. As it turns out, Naughty Dog had already decided to name the game Uncharted by E3, but the title was rejected by executive order.
Naughty Dog’s Evan Wells explained that Uncharted was one of several possible names for the game, but the team couldn’t pick one. At the last minute, they chose Uncharted and put the name in the trailer – but their decision got vetoed. “We were all ready to go out with [Uncharted],” Wells says. “And then [former PlayStation Executive Vice President and current Microsoft Corporate Vice President] 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 Naughty Dog cut the title from the trailer, leaving the door open for the Dude Raider nickname that would stick around for the rest of the series. Three months after E3, Harrison changed his mind and decided to allow Naughty Dog to use the original name – and thus Uncharted was born.