Hennig ‘Forced Out’: Naughty Dog responds

UPDATE #1: Yesterday we reported on the departure of Amy Hennig from Naughty Dog after 10 years. Today, Naughty Dog have responded to the rumor that Neil Druckmann and Bruce Straley (directors of The Last of Us) were responsible for Hennig’s departure:

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.

It would seem reports of the force out were not only exaggerated, but perhaps entirely fabricated. The idea that Druckmann or Straley could be involved seemed very much at odds with what we know of them. They both hold Hennig in very high regard and have said so in public on numerous occasions. Perhaps the real reasons for Hennig’s departure will never come to light, but this is a story we will be watching very closely.

Hennig’s next move could well shed some light on the exact nature of the situation. Come back to Twinstick Gaming soon for more on this developing story.

(The original story, published yesterday, follows below)

amy hennig

Amy Hennig ‘Forced Out’ of Naughty Dog? 06/03/14

IGN reported on March the 4th, that leading Creative Director and Writer of the critically acclaim Uncharted series, Amy Hennig, has left Naughty Dog after 10 years with the company. Sources close to IGN have suggested that Hennig was ‘forced out’ by the creative team behind The Last of Us, Neil Druckmann and Bruce Straley.

Both Druckmann and Straley have confirmed that they will take charge of Naughty Dog’s Uncharted 4, which was announced via a teaser trailer earlier this year. According to Naughty Dog, Hennig’s departure will not impact on the development time frame of Uncharted 4. This is what Sony had to say;

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.”

So far Hennig or Sony have yet to comment on the suggestion that Hennig was ‘forced out’. Personally I have been a long time fan of the Uncharted series and a large part of this is down to the engaging story and the wonderful written characters. Whilst I believe Druckmann and Straley are more than capable of delivering another amazing story driven game, as the brilliance that is The Last of Us can testify, I can’t help but feel something important is being lost here. Hennig’s contribution to the Uncharted series is phenomenal and I can see her being sorely missed. I just truly hope her departure really doesn’t have an impact on the legacy she has left behind. At Twinstickgaming we wish Amy Hennig all the best in her future endeavors.