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Uncharted creator not “forced out” of Naughty Dog – co-presidents

Friday, 7th March 2014 02:15 GMT By Brenna Hillier

Uncharted creator Amy Hennig was not “forced out” of Naughty Dog, according to co-presidents Evan Wells and Christophe Balestra.

uncharted_3

“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,” the pair said in a statement published on the Naughty Dog website.

“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 rumours 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.”

The news of Hennig’s departure was broken yesterday by IGN, citing anonymous sources after Sony and Naughty Dog did not supply comment by time of publication. The report was later confirmed by Sony, verifying IGN’s claims, but this new statement apparently repudiates the claim that there was some sort of ill-feeling or political machination behind Hennig’s exit.

Naughty Dog is currently working on a new Uncharted game for PlayStation 4, which we’re calling Uncharted 4 or Uncharted PS4 for convenience’s sake, as well as the final, multiplayer-focused DLC pack for The Last of Us. Hennig’s departure won’t affect Uncharted, the developer said yesterday. We’re expecting some sort of reveal from the studio soon.

Thanks, Kotaku.

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15 Comments

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  1. salarta

    … “Hennig’s departure won’t affect Uncharted?” I haven’t even played the Uncharted franchise and I know that’s a flat out lie. She was the franchise’s creator, her not being there to work on it WILL have an effect on how any future games turn out. Maybe it’ll be better, maybe it’ll be worse, maybe it’ll be very much like every other Uncharted game, but there is no way it’ll be the exact same as it would have been if Amy Hennig was there.

    I mean, hell, look at historical precedent from literally any other franchise and the stepping back of its creators. Look at what Final Fantasy has become without Sakaguchi, or Resident Evil without Mikami, or Devil May Cry without Kamiya.

    The best answer would’ve been “the franchise won’t be the same without Amy Hennig, but we’ll do everything we can to stay true to its spirit.” The answer they gave is typical “protect future profits” corporate talk.

    #1 5 months ago
  2. PEYJ

    Just to be clear: Sony confirmed that Amy Hennig left the company, not that she had been forced out.

    #2 5 months ago
  3. the Bridgeburner

    @salarta

    I think it’s a good thing for the franchise. 3 was a horrible game compared to its predecessors… Sure the dialogue was spot on, but plot and level design were lacking. Hell, parts of it felt regurgitated from 1 & 2.

    Whether the series will improve or turn even worse, only time will tell. Uncharted is hardly highbrow entertainment, so I feel confident Naughty has a couple writers equal to the task of filling Amy’s boots.

    #3 5 months ago
  4. Dragon

    I haven’t even played the Uncharted franchise and I know that’s a flat out lie.
    No wonder people liken you to Wulf.

    #4 5 months ago
  5. BeenThere_DoneThat

    Yeah let’s defend Bruce Straley and Neil Druckmann without a single good word for Amy ?
    Lies…

    Oh and I don’t think I want Uncharted with Last of Us’ tone…

    #5 5 months ago
  6. salarta

    @the Bridgeburner It’s definitely a tricky thing to judge about how the franchise will be affected without its creator around. I cited the examples I did mainly because the co-presidents tried to make it sound like the franchise will be the exact same as it has always been as an obvious attempt to prevent potential sales loss by her departure.

    I’ve been encouraged to play the Uncharted games before, and maybe someday I will. I haven’t ruled it out, I don’t have anything against them, I’m just not terribly interested for the same reason I didn’t play any of the God of War games until PS3.

    @Dragon … Are you serious? You may as well have just implied that I need to drink a beer before I can say beer is wet. You don’t have to play Uncharted to know a core member of the team leaving said team WILL change how the game turns out. That is true for literally any project in any industry ever. To expect otherwise is just stupid. Whether the change is good, bad or hardly noticed is a different matter.

    And yet you and others in your frame of mind somehow expect me to do things you come up with to make what I say “legitimate” to you.

    #6 5 months ago
  7. Dragon

    @salarta,
    Looks like you misunderstood and are misinformed. Amy isn’t as important to UC as any other franchise you are pointing out. And, obviously, such misinformation is only there because you choose to write a long para (like Wulf) without knowing an iota about the topic on hand, having never even played it.

    By the way, of topic, ever heard of a game called Hakuoki?

    #7 5 months ago
  8. Dragon

    Although I must say I didn’t realise simply associating you with Wulf would incite a long response. Looks like you have the same opinion of him as others. Yet you talk and agree with him the most here.
    Just a third person observation.

    #8 5 months ago
  9. Beta

    I’d like to believe that they parted on good terms, but it doesn’t feel right. Amy didn’t say a word about not being forced out and I haven’t seen any employees thanking her or saying goodbye on Twitter. I’m not saying that Druckmann and Straley were involved, I have no idea what happened. But I just don’t think that Amy leaving was 100% mutual.

    Guess I’m just a conspiracy theorist.. :P We’ll probably never know what happened.

    #9 5 months ago
  10. Joe Musashi

    The whole ‘forced out’ thing is pretty irresponsible ‘reporting’ by IGN who, as far as I can tell have conveniently attributed this detail to an ‘inside source’ or, more likely, /v/. Either way, it’s neatly shifting any accountability of their words onto some internet phantom. Regardless of the impact it causes to others.

    Indeed, as #2 demonstrates, it is becoming very easy to read reports that cloud who said what and whether it has been verified or not. Chinese whispers and he-said-she-said helps nobody. Apart from those earning revenue by clicks.

    JM

    #10 5 months ago
  11. kingy

    She might of just got sick of doing uncharted and wanted to do something else ?

    #11 5 months ago
  12. DrDamn

    @salarta
    If you follow the links and read the actual quote what they said regarding the departure was “The development timeline of Uncharted will not be impacted.”. Is that a ‘flat out lie’?

    #12 5 months ago
  13. Djoenz

    @salarta
    There were major fans of people on a FF forum Im a member on back in the day they were constantly boasting and gloating and praising Uncharted.

    I never saw the gameplay maybe a snippet here and there, but the mention of indiana jones and the cover alone seriously put me off..I didnt understand the hype. I mean maybe years later in 2012 I think I only began playing them. I was seriously late. Could have been 2011 meh anyway, I saw the game (Uncharted 2) for a bargain so I thought hey why the fuck not.

    At the time I didnt even have a HD tv. I played that baby (Uncharted 2 my first Uncharted) on a freaking SD tv. Now maybe Im not that used to visuals in general (Im not perse a visualphile or audiophile) but the game was drop dead gorgeous!

    The story was amazing and the characters really likable. It’s sattire at points (IMO more tributing other franchises rather than simple copy-cat-ing) has tons of witty humor and the set pieces and climbing aspect is brilliant.

    Brilliant game. Just try it. I didnt go for the hype until I tried it myself. Now I bought Uncharted 3 day one and UC later on. I love them all.

    #13 5 months ago
  14. TheWulf

    @1

    Fair point. Though maybe this will actually have them step away from Uncharted and create something new rather than milking the same IP over and over and over…

    I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s exactly why Amy left.

    #14 5 months ago
  15. TheWulf

    In fact, isn’t milking of franchises the reason the other people you mentioned left their respective stations, too?

    #15 5 months ago