Naughty Dog co-presidents Evan Wells and Christophe Balestra have dismissed reports that Amy Hennig was forced out of the company.
In a post on the Naughty Dog website, Wells and Balestra were critical about the way the press "unprofessionally misreported" the rumour that Hennig's departure was somehow aided or motivated by the actions of Neil Druckmann and Bruce Straley, the creative team that led the development of The Last of Us.
"Bruce Straley and Neil Druckmann were not involved in what transpired." the post stated. "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 rumour started with an IGN report based on the testimony of several "trusted sources." Those sources not only leaked the information that Amy Hennig had left Naughty Dog, but also the idea that she had been "forced out" by the actions of others. When Sony later confirmed the accuracy of the information about Hennig's departure, it lent legitimacy to the report's more controversial claims.