Tuesday 10th May 2016 marked the global release of Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End on PlayStation 4, and the final adventure for Nathan Drake – protaganist of one of the most popular game franchises of all time. The developer, Naughty Dog, have made gaming history with this series of groundbreaking action adventures, which rival the vision of the most seasoned Hollywood directors!
Set several years after Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception, Drake is drawn back into the world of fortune hunting when his brother resurfaces in pursuit of a historical conspiracy behind a fabled pirate treasure. He travels through impassable lands across the globe amidst impossible puzzles, in the quest for the pirate utopia, Libertalia, only to discover that every treasure has its price and sacrifices must be made to save the ones he loves.
The game takes a darker and more emotional/complex tone than previous entries in the series, and this is something we were tasked with communicating in our media kit to help further the Uncharted legacy and provide an engaging and distinctive method of informing recipients about the game’s release.
We presented a range of initial concepts to Sony Interactive Entertainment Europe, which were all based on the size of our Uncharted: Nathan Drake Collection media kit, in order to create a modular set. More subtle stylistic links included the use of gold foils to reference the gold palette of the UNDC kit.
The chosen concept was a hardback book with poster dustjacket, letter, review disc and metal coin. The book format allowed key information and imagery to be presented to the recipients in a striking and easy to digest manner, whilst an integrated notebook section gave them an exclusive keepsake to use in the future. The premium presentation included a leather embossed Imperial Blue Colorplan wrapped cover (tying into the campaign’s dark blue/indigo colour palette), mottled gold foil detailing and a dark blue ribbon bookmark.
The book inner was 216 pages in length – with 6 main sections: introduction, localised marketing information, concept artwork to convey the storyline setting/tone, 160 page notebook, screenshots and a foldout panel at the back revealing the review disc and a bespoke metal version of Avery’s coin – held in a custom sleeve. The book was litho printed on Munken cream paper, to give a slightly antique aesthetic, whilst section pages were printed on 1-sided Astralux for a contrasting gloss/uncoated aesthetic and removing the disc revealed a further gold foiled pirate sigil.
The dustjacket was produced to fold around the book – this was also printed on Astralux 1 sided – with the uncoated outer featuring 4 scenic images from the game, which were randomly allocated to recipients. Localised/personalised copy and a subtle clear foiled motto added to the presentation. The dustjacket unfolded to reveal an A3+ gloss inner, featuring gold handwritten numbering edition and a bespoke navy blue and gold pantone version we produced of Alexander “That Kid Who Draws” Laccarino’s UC4 Collectible Steelbook illustration.
The folding of the dustjacket also acted as a delivery method for the letter, which was hand creased and placed inside. The letter’s design was based on a UC4 trailer scene, with a localised/personalised message from Naughty Dog and differing skull headers, whilst the decollaged edges gave it an aged appearance and the mottled gold foil detail on the reverse matched the book.
In addition to the media kit we produced an unfolded edition of the dustjacket, and a VIP edition of the kit which was given to select journalists at an Uncharted 4 launch event in Rome. This VIP version saw the media kit wrapped in roughly cut hessian wrap, before being bound with aged leather tie and finished with a personalised tactile card tag. Conceived and developed over 6 months, the final kit was produced in an edition of 2177 and dispatched to 26 territories around the world across 10 language variants, 7 logo variants and 611 personalisations. The specification of the content and number of variants made this one of the most complex kits we’ve produced so far, but we’ve had nothing but great feedback from the client and media, with a wide array of YouTube unboxings and online/offline coverage.