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Amy Hennig Has Left Naughty Dog

The Uncharted creative director and writer has left the developer.

While specifics remain unclear, it's been confirmed that Uncharted creative director and writer Amy Hennig has left Naughty Dog.

Hennig has not made a public comment on the news.

The initial report came from IGN, and Sony has since confirmed the news with Polygon. The original report characterized the departure as Hennig being "pushed out" of the company.

Sony said the change would not impact the development of the upcoming Uncharted for PlayStation 4.

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154 Comments
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Edited by DoctorSage

Really hope the rumors of Hennig being forced out aren't true.

Edited by JasonMrazMtaz

Say what!?

Edited by Sil3n7

Terrible news for a great team.

Posted by Novis

Wow. That's pretty big, right?

Posted by Flacracker

GG Naughty Dog

Posted by VincentVendetta

Damn...

Posted by Korolev

Aw, that's sucks. She's clearly a very talented writer and creative director. Wherever she goes, I hope she can do better than ever.

Posted by drum_94

This really is a shame. Hopefully the rumors about being forced aren't true.

Posted by BaconGames

Amy leaving is something that would be completely reasonable and understandable if it was mutual and voluntary. "Forced"? The ball is in Naughty Dog's court to clear this one up.

Edited by dertek

Bad Dog.

Posted by kkotd

Wow, hearing talks of anybody being 'pushed out' after watching the Last of Us documentary, if true, leaves a really nasty taste in my mouth. Though that team was not identical to the one who worked on Uncharted, the culture of the developer should shine through all aspects of their company. Would be interesting to hear the reasoning if it ever comes to light.

Posted by Undeadpool

Really hope the rumors of Hennig being forced out aren't true.

Right? I don't like what this could mean for that new Uncharted...

Posted by EricSmith

Neil Druckmann was always pleasant when I've spoken to him. I really need to know the full story, here.

Silver lining: A lot of companies need decent writers (Crystal D really needs help with Tomb Raider), and the Uncharted games sincerely needed to be taken in a new direction. She will land on her feet.

Posted by NoRemnants

It sucks that she was forced out but I have faith that Druckmann and Straley will do a good job with UC4. They were both leads and heavily involved with Uncharted 2 and they co-directed The Last of Us. I think most people would agree those are Naughty Dog's two best games of the last generation.

Edited by hollitz

Man, that's a bummer. Leery of Uncharted 4 now. I'm sure someone as talented as Amy will have no issue finding work. Will be interested to see what she ends up doing next.

Posted by clank543

I read something a while ago saying that Staley was the main guy in charge of Uncharted 1 & 2, and Amy was then put in full charge of the reigns for Uncharted 3 since The Last of Us was in production. Staley and Druckmann saw that game as a step back from a story telling perspective.

Still, I hope her being "forced out" isn't true. Office politics suck.

Edited by mlarrabee

Two of the best video game writers and creative directors leave their studios less than a month apart: what is going on here?!

The writing is nearly the only thing I really liked about the Uncharted games. With a lineage containing the Legacy of Kain and Uncharted series, I've no doubt she'll find a new place to wield her extensive talent.

I'm not sure if I buy the theory that Naughty Dog nudged her to the door, but if it's the truth then they're sure foolish.

Edited by TruthTellah

This appears rather unfortunate. I can't really figure out what could be the reason for firing her at this point in development after a decade of helping make award-winning games with them.

I find it a bit laughable that they say it won't impact development of the game she was working on, as though being lead writer and creative director doesn't actually mean anything for how a game turns out. ha. I know they have to say that, but come on.

Hopefully the rumors that she was pushed out by the higher ups isn't true, but at the moment, it certainly looks like that.

Other developers should jump at this opportunity and fight to grab her up while they can. She deserves to be at a good studio that appreciates what she has to offer.

Edited by csl316

As I said in the forum thread, Amy will make any studio she joins instantly better. This sucks, I hope it's not all politics. But I'm glad she'll get to do something new.

Kain refused the sacrifice (and has more stories to tell...?)

Edited by Fuzzy_Dunlop

Damn, the fuck you doin', Naughty Dog? She's been in the industry longer than I've been alive, and is easily one of the best writers in the industry, for sure. If it's true she was forced out, I'm at least sure she won't have a problem getting another job, if she's still interested in this industry.

Posted by ptys

Interesting that she was the 'Uncharted' creator as Nathan Drake is such a "Man's man". Similar to Kathryn Bigalow director of my favourite film 'Point Break'... sometimes a woman's perspective gives a proper view of a man's world?

Posted by D_W

Perhaps she'll go to who ever is working on that Nosgoth game so they could get their lore in order.

Posted by gravytrain

@clank543: Uncharted 3 was utter shit in the storytelling department. It made no sense, tons of plot points, and extremely weak character development. It was worse than watching a Saturday morning cartoon from the 80s.

Posted by Morningstar
Edited by Darji

Amy leaving is something that would be completely reasonable and understandable if it was mutual and voluntary. "Forced"? The ball is in Naughty Dog's court to clear this one up.

why? Because some vague source claimed this? I am sorry but I trust Naughty dog more than this so called vage source. How about showing some evidence of these claims first?

Edited by TurboMan

You never hear one bad thing ever coming out of Naughty Dog, I'm hoping nobody (especially as talented as Amy) was forced out.

Edited by Damodar

Wow, if Naughty Dog voluntarily made her go, that seems real crazy.

Best of luck to her moving forward, I adore her work. I wonder if she'd be interested in working on Legacy Of Kain again. Not so sure how much Square/Eidos are interested in giving LOK fans a new game that they actually want, but a guy can dream that the stars could all align.

Posted by Darji

rumors are now starting to hit.

Interestingly enough a few days ago there was a post on /v/ (yea yea whatever) saying there was quite a bit of internal drama going on inside the ND studio between henning and Druckmann concerning the Left Behind DLC. She didn't like the direction Druckmann was taking the relationship between the Ellie and Riley, and after the entire drama she was threatening to resign.

I dont know exactly how much truth was in that post, but her leaving ND just a few days later and ign reporting the reasons why being internal conflict is pretty interesting.

Edited by AlexanderSheen

That "pushed out" part really grabs the attention. Good job.

Posted by BaconGames

@darji said:

@bacongames said:

Amy leaving is something that would be completely reasonable and understandable if it was mutual and voluntary. "Forced"? The ball is in Naughty Dog's court to clear this one up.

why? Because some vague source claimed this? I am sorry but I trust Naughty dog more than this so called vague source. How about showing some evidence of these claims first?

With a rumor like this and stories hitting game sites, it's absolutely Naughty Dog's job as a company to clarify if one of their well known senior level people was ousted or left of their own volition. Rumor or not, this kind of stuff is exactly what PR people are hired to handle.

Is it fair if it is a rumor? No and I'm not throwing Naughty Dog under the bus, particularly those who work under the higher ups. However for a company that has earned quite a bit of goodwill over the years it would be a rumor like this unaddressed. I'm sure we'll know more soon enough.

Posted by Jay_Ray

As long as Naughty Dog continue to release the high quality titles they always have I do not care why Hennig left.

Edited by Scrumdidlyumptious

@darji said:

rumors are now starting to hit.

Interestingly enough a few days ago there was a post on /v/ (yea yea whatever) saying there was quite a bit of internal drama going on inside the ND studio between henning and Druckmann concerning the Left Behind DLC. She didn't like the direction Druckmann was taking the relationship between the Ellie and Riley, and after the entire drama she was threatening to resign.

I dont know exactly how much truth was in that post, but her leaving ND just a few days later and ign reporting the reasons why being internal conflict is pretty interesting.

Left Behind was good though! How could you not like it? Rumour is obviously false.

Edited by UltimAXE

In my fantasy world, she was working on more Legacy of Kain stuff with Crystal Dynamics in secret and, once found out, was forced to leave Naughty Dog.

Edited by Devise22

Great writer, I still think a lot of what that studio does well will remain in tact and feel they have tons of talented people there. But she is one of the top creative people in the industry. Hope she finds a home somewhere else, and hope that her departure doesn't lessen the next Uncharted and whatever comes from ND after that.

Ultimately Sony better hope so as well. Naughty Dog is one of the studios they have been able to leverage for people being so on board with first party Sony titles.

Posted by Oldirtybearon

Great news!

Now she can resurrect Legacy of Kain.

Online
Edited by Ponyexpress

@cronodyne: You sound like you're wearing a tinfoil hat protecting your brain from feminism rays.

Posted by TMBaker

I NEED more LOK games.

Posted by mr_grimm

best of luck amy

Posted by RonGalaxy

Rumor has it that Bruce Straley and Neil Druckman (creative leads on the last of us) forced her out. If so, that's pretty fucking horrible. The last of us is an amazing game (better story wise than all 3 uncharted games), but that would be pretty vile on their part if it turned out to be true..

If this is true, this is something you should rage about, not things like all the phill fish bullshit. He said some dumb things, but never did anything this vile (like I said, it remains to be seen if it is true yet).

Posted by RonGalaxy

@truthtellah

Though this is indeed horrible if she was forced out, this won't impact ND in the way you think it will. From what I understand, she was only in complete creative control of UC3 (weakest game in the series, in my opinion). Uncharted 2 was co directed by Bruce Straley with Hennig, and Neil Druckman was another big creative force on that game (writer and designer). The 2 of them went to go work on TLoU (probably ND's best game). Not condoning her getting forced out, just saying that she wasn't the sole lead creative mind behind that series.

If it's true that Druckman and Straley forced her out, I'd lose a lot of personal respect for them, but I'd probably still play the games they work on (separating artist from their art. Most artistic people who take leading roles are selfcentered douchebags).

Edited by Darji

@scrumdidlyumptious said:

@darji said:

rumors are now starting to hit.

Interestingly enough a few days ago there was a post on /v/ (yea yea whatever) saying there was quite a bit of internal drama going on inside the ND studio between henning and Druckmann concerning the Left Behind DLC. She didn't like the direction Druckmann was taking the relationship between the Ellie and Riley, and after the entire drama she was threatening to resign.

I dont know exactly how much truth was in that post, but her leaving ND just a few days later and ign reporting the reasons why being internal conflict is pretty interesting.

Left Behind was good though! How could you not like it? Rumour is obviously false.

people accused her of being homophobic. probably that is why. But again this is also a rumor and right now to be taken as seriously as the forced out one.

Posted by Aelric
Posted by TruthTellah

@truthtellah

Though this is indeed horrible if she was forced out, this won't impact ND in the way you think it will. From what I understand, she was only in complete creative control of UC3 (weakest game in the series, in my opinion). Uncharted 2 was co directed by Bruce Straley with Hennig, and Neil Druckman was another big creative force on that game (writer and designer). The 2 of them went to go work on TLoU (probably ND's best game). Not condoning her getting forced out, just saying that she wasn't the sole lead creative mind behind that series.

If it's true that Druckman and Straley forced her out, I'd lose a lot of personal respect for them, but I'd probably still play the games they work on (separating artist from their art. Most artistic people who take leading roles are selfcentered douchebags).

I don't believe that's an accurate portrayal of her impact on the series. She was the lead director and writer on the original Uncharted. She was the co-director with Bruce Straley and still lead writer on Uncharted 2; Neil Druckmann helped with the writing and apparently proved himself enough to become the lead on The Last of Us. She was lead on Uncharted 3, as well, but that game had some specific challenges to the writing all its own(designed more around set pieces and maps than story beats). Uncharted wouldn't be the series it is without her, and her leaving partway into development will have an impact on it.

Doesn't mean Uncharted is dead or something like that, but it will be impacted. Someone would have to really twist her place in the series to claim she wasn't a big driving force. She was considered one of the four most influential women in videogames for a reason. This is a big change, and it will be interesting to find out why it happened.

Hopefully the rumors about the others forcing her out aren't accurate and she'll be able to find a different developer which will benefit from her skills.

Posted by JayDubya

Very sad news, especally if she was forced out.
I always though the best bit from Uncharted, the characters and their relationships, were because of Amy's input.
No doubt she'll do great at another company but I imagined Naughty Dog to be one of the friendliest developers.

Posted by JesusHammer

@oldirtybearon: I like you. We can only hope.

@aelric: I don't like you. Stop reminding me of that game.

Really I'm not super upset about this. Uncharted 3 felt pretty uninspired and I'm very fine with a different creative lead taking the series hopefully somewhere different and give it a breath of fresh air after the pretty stale third chapter. Still sucks she's gone and it would REALLY suck if the rumors are true, but as usual the probably aren't.

Posted by ReTarDedFisHy

yo that's sad if she got the boot.
really grew to respect her from the making of uncharted videos.

Posted by RonGalaxy

@truthtellah: Hopefully we do find out. When it concerns big studios, it will (most likely) be left up to everyone's imagination.

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