Amy Hennig leaves Naughty Dog

Sony confirms departure of Uncharted creative director, sources claim she was "forced out" of the company

Amy Hennig has stepped down from the position of creative director of Naughty Dog after more than 10 years at the company.

According to a report on IGN, Hennig left Naughty Dog on Monday, March 3. Sony Computer Entertainment, which owns Naughty Dog, later confirmed the news in an official statement.

"We can confirm that Amy Hennig has left Naughty Dog," Sony said. "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."

Hennig was working on a new Uncharted game for the PlayStation 4, the fourth console release in the franchise whose ascent saw her become one of the most recognisable and respected women in the games industry.

However, The same sources that leaked the news of Hennig's departure to IGN also suggested that she had been "forced out" of the company by Neil Druckmann and Bruce Straley, respectively the creative director and game director of the critically admired The Last of Us. The source claimed that Druckmann and Straley are in line to take over the Uncharted series.

Sony has so far offered no comment on the circumstances of Hennig's departure.

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Latest comments (8)

Jakub Mikyska CEO, Grip Digital5 years ago
With the lackluster Uncharted 3 and TLoU winning every single game award in the known universe, this can actually be a good news for the Uncharted series, as it needs some new, fresh ideas.
Anyway, as for Amy Henning, I bet her phone didn't stop ringing since the news got out. Good luck to her.
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Off to new uncharted shores. All the best for Henning
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Adam Campbell Product Manager, Azoomee5 years ago
I have little doubt she'll be able to bring her creative visions to life in a new role and new product. If you're reading, good luck!
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Show all comments (8)
Chris Payne Managing Director & Founder, Quantum Soup Studios5 years ago
Naughty Dog's loss. I'm quite excited to see what she turns her hand to next - I loved the Soul Reaver series but Uncharted never grabbed me. Good luck Amy - looking forward to a shiny new award-winning IP :)
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Daniel Chisholm Director, Gaikai Inc.5 years ago
Although I have a number of friends at ND, I wasn't privy to anything regarding her departure, but wanted to rectify a statement in the article "saw her become one of the most recognisable and respected women in the games industry".

Think it's safe to say we don't have to apply a gender here - she has become one of the most respected _people_ in the industry.
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Nicholas Pantazis Senior Editor, VGChartz Ltd5 years ago
@ Jakub Anyone who would force out a creative colleague in a power grab probably shouldn't be the creative lead on anything at all, regardless of what they've made in the past. They probably shouldn't even be employed, as far as I'm concerned. Trying to spin this as anything positive for any part of Naughty Dog is frankly ludicrous.

As far as Amy Hennig goes, I wish her the best, and any studio with half a brain will snap this woman up for her talent. Make no mistake, this is Naughty Dog's loss.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Nicholas Pantazis on 5th March 2014 9:05pm

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Curt Sampson Sofware Developer 5 years ago
@Jakub: with Uncharted 3 scoring only 92 on Metacritic, as compared to The Last of Us's 95, Uncharted 3 certainly was "lackluster." I'm surprised that they didn't fire the whole team!

(Also, it's fortunate that Metacritic has the precision to differentiate between these two games, because I must admit that, with my limited critical facilities, I'm unable to say which is defintively better. Even worse, I'd not noticed Uncharted 3 being lackluster!)
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Jakub Mikyska CEO, Grip Digital5 years ago
@ Nicholas and Curt: I am not trying to be an a-hole here. Amy Hanning created my most favorite modern game series. Gameplay-wise, Uncharted 3 was the best one of them, but the story and writing seriously lacked, it seemed like the game didn't exactly know what to do with itself. That is my perception, not a Metacritic score. When you work on so many games in the same series, it is hard to improve on your own ideas and someone else taking over U4 may be good news for the game. Especially considering how incredible TLoU's writing and story were.

As for the internal struggle at ND, it is hard to say what really happened. As it was said, Amy is one of the most respected people in the game industry and I can't see ND letting her go only because the currently popular kid on the block may want her job. If there really is a power-struggle at ND, it may be best for its best talent to leave. Amy Henning can point her finger at any game studio in the world and the only question they will ask is if she likes her coffee black, or with milk.
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