Uncharted Writer Amy Hennig Departs Naughty Dog -- Update

Uncharted Writer Amy Hennig Departs Naughty Dog -- Update

Amy Hennig

Sources claim Hennig was "forced out" by The Last of Us leads, Neil Druckmann and Bruce Straley, with the duo allegedly now taking control of the PS4's first Uncharted game.

Update: Naughty Dog co-presidents Evan Wells and Christophe Balestra has posted an official statement on the studio's site regarding Hennig's exit, and claim that Druckmann and Straley were "not involved in what transpired". The entire message can be read below.

Earlier this week we had to confirm the regrettable news that Amy Hennig has left Naughty Dog. She will be missed and, as we stated before, we appreciate the significant contributions that she has made to Naughty Dog and the industry in general. We wish her the best.

However, we feel it necessary to clear up a very important point that was unprofessionally misreported when the story broke. Bruce Straley and Neil Druckmann were NOT involved in what transpired. It was very upsetting to us that dozens of stories were run, linking back to the same hurtful accusations in the original report. As co-presidents of Naughty Dog, we are responsible for all studio affairs.

Normally, we wouldn't respond to rumors and speculation on matters that are internal to Naughty Dog, but because the personal reputation of two of our employees is being damaged we needed to set the record straight. There is nothing left to be said on this subject. Now we're going back to what we should be focused on - making games.

While the statement mentions Druckmann and Straley weren't involved in Hennig's departure, it doesn't really address what happened completely. Hopefully, we'll hear Hennig's side at some point down the line and whether there's any truth to her forced resignation.

Source: Naughty Dog

Original Story:

In a report by IGN, it has been revealed that Amy Hennig, creative director and writer on Naughty Dog's Uncharted series, has left the award-winning studio. This exit has been confirmed by Sony who issued the following statement:

We can confirm that Amy Hennig has left Naughty Dog. Amy has made significant contributions to the game industry and we appreciate all she has done for Naughty Dog. The development timeline of Uncharted will not be impacted.

What's interesting here is that sources claim that Hennig was "forced out" by The Last of Us' creative director Neil Druckmann, and game director Bruce Straley, and that the Uncharted game set for release on the PlayStation 4 is now under the duo's control. While Sony has issued a statement confirming Hennig's exit, the publisher has not acknowledged this alleged elbowing out, nor in what capacity Druckmann and Straley's involvement in the PS4's debut Uncharted game will be.

Amy Hennig who recently celebrated her 10th anniversary with Naughty Dog, acted as director and writer on the Jak and Daxter series, Uncharted: Drake's Fortune, Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, and Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception. As for Druckmann and Straley, the pair recently said there's a 50/50 chance of a The Last of Us 2 happening, and that Sony has given them complete freedom if they want to create a sequel or not.

We'll update the story if and when more developments unfold.

Source: IGN

Permalink

I think withholding opinion until we know something more solid would probably be best. There are a lot of reasons why someone could leave a company and unless we understand those circumstances we're doing a disrespect to the people involved by forming judgements

In before Sexism claims?

Okay, so a writer has left and - like most situations - we do not know the exact reasons why and can only speculate.

Never played an Uncharted game but I heard they were "alright" story wise.

Please let the reason behind this be a huge pile of money and welcoming arms back at Crystal Dynamics and Legacy of Kain.

I will also hold off screams of rage until the truth is revealed. But this sucks for the Uncharted titles regardless.

That's too bad. I had fun with the Uncharted games, although it was sort of dumb fun. She should be able to get another job soon.

If true, that wouldn't be a very nice thing to do, now would it.

You could even say it's quite... naughty.

mechalynx:
Please let the reason behind this be a huge pile of money and welcoming arms back at Crystal Dynamics and Legacy of Kain.

Indeed! Never was keen on Uncharted, but she did a great job with the LoK titles.

Well lets hope that she goes and writes a long awaited sequel to the Legacy of Kain / Soul Reaver games.

mechalynx:
Please let the reason behind this be a huge pile of money and welcoming arms back at Crystal Dynamics and Legacy of Kain.

I will also hold off screams of rage until the truth is revealed. But this sucks for the Uncharted titles regardless.

First thought that came to mind. It's pretty tragic if the story is true, but I'd be lying if I wasn't hoping that a new LOK could come about as a result of this. Hopefully she'll be like "Well fuck you guys, I'll take my talent to a new LoK, get all of the moneys, and save the fanbase from the abomination that is that crappy new MOBA!"

Abomination:
In before Sexism claims?

Okay, so a writer has left and - like most situations - we do not know the exact reasons why and can only speculate.

Never played an Uncharted game but I heard they were "alright" story wise.

Funny you should say that. The two guys that "forced her out" seem to be more "progressive" than she ever was. Consider the stories of their games.

image

Hardly what I'd call a reliable source but this was posted a week ago. Coincidence if it were true? Does anyone know of any seminars Amy has held or attended in the past week to verify this?

Any studios that don't that are wanting for robust writing assets should be at attention to sign her up quick. While Uncharted is much more widely known in the mainstream; her work on Legacy of Kain is arguably the shinier part of her CV.

Hmm, I don't know. I hardly have enough information to form a well rounded opinion on this issue. Not that it matters that much. Uncharted still bores me.

Wait, did some one say Legacy of Kain? I had no idea she worked on that. Fucking shit I hope she writes some sort of story like that again...

With credentials like those she wont be unemployed for long.

As for Uncharted I really hope something like this happens in the new one: http://www.escapistmagazine.com/articles/view/comicsandcosplay/comics/critical-miss/9852-Uncharted-Drakes-Misdirected-Anger

I really like the games, they're a good bit of fun, but in all three (four, if you include Golden Abyss) of them I've just been waiting for someone to shout: "Holy shit dude! You just killed, like, thirty people! What the fuck?!"

Maybe she suggested making a Jak and Daxter sequel and the rest of the company recoiled like frightened vipers?

If the 4chan post is correct. I agree with her. I am a part of the LGBT community and agree with her. It is bad enough that romances are forced into every book, movie and _____; it will only get worse if this trend of shoving LGBT relationships into everything keeps going.

Especially when the relationships in question are of such low quality. They could write Sully into drakes pants without addressing anything from the past games and the story would be about on par with what games have been doing lately.

Almost makes me miss Gears of War. Men and Women working together and being close to each other with no forced romances. Not counting the implied feeling with the Australian and Dom as they thankfully did nothing with it.

saltyanon:

Abomination:
In before Sexism claims?

Okay, so a writer has left and - like most situations - we do not know the exact reasons why and can only speculate.

Never played an Uncharted game but I heard they were "alright" story wise.

Funny you should say that. The two guys that "forced her out" seem to be more "progressive" than she ever was. Consider the stories of their games.

image

Hardly what I'd call a reliable source but this was posted a week ago. Coincidence if it were true? Does anyone know of any seminars Amy has held or attended in the past week to verify this?

Even if it's true it sounds a lot like artistic wank one way or another.

It's a cynical world and so we enjoy cynical stories... in fact we don't see nearly enough of them. Too often the hero gets the girl and saves the world. It's nice to have a few where everyone's an asshole and "winning" means surviving.

Casual Shinji:
If true, that wouldn't be a very nice thing to do, now would it.

You could even say it's quite... naughty.

Oh dear god, I read it in Fred's voice from Courage.

OT: I agree with everyone saying that judgement should be withheld until all of the information comes out. No point in accusing people of something if might not even be true.

mechalynx:
Please let the reason behind this be a huge pile of money and welcoming arms back at Crystal Dynamics and Legacy of Kain.

I will also hold off screams of rage until the truth is revealed. But this sucks for the Uncharted titles regardless.

Damn, you took the word right out of my mouth! My first thought was that she should come back to Crystal Dynamics and continue the Legacy of Kain series!!

Karavision:

Almost makes me miss Gears of War. Men and Women working together and being close to each other with no forced romances. Not counting the implied feeling with the Australian and Dom as they thankfully did nothing with it.

Actually wasnt it Sam (the australian) and Baird?

Still, I do love Gears for that, with the exception of Dom having a wife and Baird being all smooth with the ladies, the sexuality of everyone is never implied in anything, they are all just friends of eachothers and at no point are all the guys looking at all the girls.

It just avoids any sort of pandering and fanservice for both the LGBT community and the opposers.

Oh, she's getting replaced by the Last of Us writers? Ugh, well, can't say I'm excited about that. I know a lot of people loved the Last of Us, and I can appreciate it's quality... but the game just really isn't to my tastes. It's been described as "Oscar-bait for video games" and I have to agree with the sentiment. That, and my zombie fatigue just killed the game for me.

Ah well. Maybe they'll aim for a different tone with Uncharted 4. I guess this could be a good thing, so long as it doesn't get TLoU's depressed navel-gazing atmosphere.

New Legacy of Kain game?! Right Amy? That's why you left right? Riiight? To save your baby :D ??

The only fact is that a writer left a studio. I can't really give an opinion based on that. People tend to assume the worst whenever a writer leaves. Like it's a declaration of principle or something.

saltyanon:

Abomination:
In before Sexism claims?

Okay, so a writer has left and - like most situations - we do not know the exact reasons why and can only speculate.

Never played an Uncharted game but I heard they were "alright" story wise.

Funny you should say that. The two guys that "forced her out" seem to be more "progressive" than she ever was. Consider the stories of their games.

image

Hardly what I'd call a reliable source but this was posted a week ago. Coincidence if it were true? Does anyone know of any seminars Amy has held or attended in the past week to verify this?

I don't think her assertion is that far off or radical. If this is true she didn't seem to be saying homosexuality is wrong just that sexual relationships are constantly being insisted to exist where only friendship exists by fans. I can assume she is saying friendship isn't a lesser version of sexual relationships but a another type of relationship but that is speculating.
Anyway yeah I don't think she is too wrong either. My Little Pony fans are now drawing Rule34 art by the boatloads, The movie Frozen has people that believe that the two protagonists (who are blood related sisters) have feelings for each other, some people actually believe Burt and Earnie from Seaseme street are in love with each other, and then of course Harry Potter/Hermione are secretly in love with every single person that attends Hogwarts at this point by the sheer weight of fan fiction out there. Fans are demanding more and more that friendships become sexualized and that isn't at all healthy in my eyes for popular writing or the culture that consumes it.

i never played any of her works, but i hear she was one of the best writers out there, i hope she finds work and releases some titles that are more my style so i can experience her work.

Quite interesting to see a female writer speak out against the forcing of stories to address sexism and homosexuality in virtually all levels of media. If that quote is true, I'm interested in her overall thoughts on the matter since it seems that she was quite intellectually sound on the way it robs modern media of major themes that have always been around. I mean, friendship or comaraderie, this woman sounds great. She's right though, people can't just be friends or comarades in stories anymore. There has to be something more.

ScrabbitRabbit:

mechalynx:
Please let the reason behind this be a huge pile of money and welcoming arms back at Crystal Dynamics and Legacy of Kain.

Indeed! Never was keen on Uncharted, but she did a great job with the LoK titles.

I'd give my left testical for a good LOK game that wraps up the series. Not that defiance was bad but it felt like an ending and a beginning to the final chapter.

The games media is every bit as bad as Fox News, CNN, MSNBC.... all of them. One place runs an unsubstantiated story, every other site uses that as a source for their own re-write... and all the while not a single one of them asks whether what they are printing is factual. It goes like this, "She left, the only reason she would ever leave is if she was forced to leave by someone."

It's just ridiculous. We could at least wait for a statement from the actual so called victim. God forbid she left because she wanted to pursue something other than another goddamn Uncharted game.

Um, what the fuck does "sources claim" mean? I seem to remember a Critical Miss article that implied that it's a journalistic byword for "I pulled it out of my ass."

Abomination:

saltyanon:

Funny you should say that. The two guys that "forced her out" seem to be more "progressive" than she ever was. Consider the stories of their games.

image

Hardly what I'd call a reliable source but this was posted a week ago. Coincidence if it were true? Does anyone know of any seminars Amy has held or attended in the past week to verify this?

Even if it's true it sounds a lot like artistic wank one way or another.

It's a cynical world and so we enjoy cynical stories... in fact we don't see nearly enough of them. Too often the hero gets the girl and saves the world. It's nice to have a few where everyone's an asshole and "winning" means surviving.

All Quiet on the Western Front isn't exactly a story about the hero getting the girl...it's about how World War I ruins the lives of an entire generation of German youths.

I'm very sad to hear about her departure. And very concerned for what this might mean for uncharted 4. Uncharted was my hands down favorite series from last gen and I've been eagerly anticipating the next release.

Soviet Heavy:
Maybe she suggested making a Jak and Daxter sequel and the rest of the company recoiled like frightened vipers?

Or maybe she suggested making a game that doesn't borrow heavily from a Hollywood movie or popular book?

Who knows, but I wish her the best with her future.

Abomination:

It's a cynical world and so we enjoy cynical stories... in fact we don't see nearly enough of them. Too often the hero gets the girl and saves the world. It's nice to have a few where everyone's an asshole and "winning" means surviving.

Eh...

Different strokes for different folks. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy a good depressing "all hope is gone" story. But it's not all I want. Cynicism is way too prevalent in stories and in movies. I'm looking at you Man of Steel. The hero doesn't have to always save the world, and the world doesn't need to have everyone be an asshole where surviving = winning.

The Last of Us was a game that didn't interest me at all. More zombie survival apocalypse stuff with "deep characters" and conflicting motives. It's been called the gaming equivalent of Oscar bait. Kind of an odd perspective, but I'd be lying if I said it didn't fit. Now they're making a movie about it. My opinion, it should have been a movie in the first place.

Lightknight:
Quite interesting to see a female writer speak out against the forcing of stories to address sexism and homosexuality in virtually all levels of media. If that quote is true, I'm interested in her overall thoughts on the matter since it seems that she was quite intellectually sound on the way it robs modern media of major themes that have always been around. I mean, friendship or comaraderie, this woman sounds great. She's right though, people can't just be friends or comarades in stories anymore. There has to be something more.

A bit off topic, but this is exactly what drew me into MLP. The fact that it's 6 girls going around solving problems and going on adventures while just being friends. No deep meaning required. No tragic pasts. None of them hurrying to try and get a boyfriend or girlfriend. Just friendship and the exploration philial love, which doesn't happen often.

Ishal:

Lightknight:
Quite interesting to see a female writer speak out against the forcing of stories to address sexism and homosexuality in virtually all levels of media. If that quote is true, I'm interested in her overall thoughts on the matter since it seems that she was quite intellectually sound on the way it robs modern media of major themes that have always been around. I mean, friendship or comaraderie, this woman sounds great. She's right though, people can't just be friends or comarades in stories anymore. There has to be something more.

A bit off topic, but this is exactly what drew me into MLP. The fact that it's 6 girls going around solving problems and going on adventures while just being friends. No deep meaning required. No tragic pasts. None of them hurrying to try and get a boyfriend or girlfriend. Just friendship and the exploration philial love, which doesn't happen often.

And it used to happen all the time. I used to have a movie night at my house awhile back when I found a friend who liked movies hadn't seen virtually any of the top 100 greatest movies of all time.

I showed them White Squall. A touching and meaningful coming of age movie with a group of boys in a sailing school (based on a true story). They liked the movie but modern media made it hard for them not to consider that the guys were just comrades. Not that homosexuality doesn't happen, it certainly does. But it doesn't need to be a theme shoehorned into every single damn thing. It's not like homosexuals can't have comrades too just like heterosexuals have platonic relationsihps.

It's almost like it's a residual impact of homophobia. Where homosexual themes are implied in every situation. Thankfully it's no longer a negative response so much (it seems) but that it's still there is weird.

Yeah the new response is very PRish. Of course they aren't going to say they outright forced her to resign. It seems odd and sudden, I am really curious to see what the full story is. Maybe there isn't an interesting story behind this, but you never know.

Either way I wish her the best of luck, I liked her writing and ideas. I'm sure she won't have too much trouble finding another place to work at.

 

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