Shocking news of Amy Hennig leaving Naughty Dog made the rounds yesterday and more shocking still were claims that she was ‘pushed out’ of the company by Naughty Dog presidents, Bruce Straley and Neil Druckmann.
Amy Hennig joined Naughty Dog in 2004 and was best known for creating and writing Sony’s premier franchise, the hugely successful, Uncharted trilogy, so her departure from the company came as a surprise to all, especially since it was on bad terms according to rumours.
In response to Hennig’s departure, Scott Rhode who is in charge of software development at Sony for the company’s first-party studios had this to say:
“Amy’s one of my favourite people,” he noted. “I love Amy. How can you not love Amy, right? She was an amazing contributor to Naughty Dog and PlayStation. I’m always going to have the deepest admiration for her. But things change, and sometimes change involves very high profile individuals. That’s all that’s happened here. There’s nothing else. There’s no more to dig at.”
Kind words towards Hennig but as expected not much of what happened can be concluded from Rhode’s words.
Because of the online backlash created on the back of this news even Naughty Dog released an official statement on this whole debacle:
“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 the 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 focusing on – making games.”
With the upcoming release of Uncharted 4 for the PlayStation 4 one has to wonder if or how the game will suffer in any way because of Amy’s departure since she was, no doubt, very involved in the project. Hoping that with Naughty Dog’s vast stable of talent this will not be a problem but one has to wonder what changes and ideas might be pushed into the game with Amy’s absence, be it for good or bad.