Amy Hennig  Tagged Articles RSS Feed | Amy Hennig  RSS Feed on en Launch Media Network Uncharted 4 May Not Have Been The Final Game In The Series Thu, 04 Aug 2016 05:13:35 -0400 Angie Harvey

In a recent podcast held by the Writers Guild of America, West, Naughty Dog’s Neil Druckmann has made some interesting comments in regards to the final installment of the Uncharted Franchise.

When asked by Gennifer Hutchison (of Better Call Saul and Breaking Bad) what it was like to send off the series, Druckmann went onto to provide more insight into what had happened during the early stages of Uncharted 4’s production.

"On one hand you are trying to tell a story that could stand on its own, for people that haven’t played the previous titles. At the same time, you are looking at what are the dangling threads that have been left from Uncharted 1, 2 and 3 with the characters, their relationships and for us as we came on the project it really felt like Nathan Drake didn’t have too many places left to go. It was one of our conditions that if we’re going to come in, this is the only place we felt left for this character to ultimately finish his arc, pay out the relationship with Elena and everything that happened in the previous titles."

This comment seems to confirm that Amy Hennig’s version of Uncharted 4 was indeed not the end of Nathan Drake’s story. While we may never find out what Amy’s initial plans were with Uncharted 4, fans are more than satisfied with the final game that we received from Neil and Bruce.

You can listen to the full podcast on the official website of the Writers Guild of America, West, where Neil discusses writing in the industry, working at Naughty Dog and writing for two of the most critically acclaimed video games in recent history, The Last of Us and Uncharted 4.

You might be waiting a while for Amy Hennig's Star Wars project Sat, 30 Jan 2016 11:29:53 -0500 Nick Harshman

You know that new Star Wars game being made by Visceral Games? The one Amy Hennig - of Uncharted fame - is heading up? Well according to EA CEO Blake Jorgensen the title is still a few years from being released.

While addressing shareholders in an EA 2016 earnings call, Mr. Jorgensen talked about how EA was investing in some new action games in order to boost profitability. It was here that the release window for the new game was brought up. Here's the quote:

"We are down to less than 15 major SKUs. And that feels like a good size of the business and we are obviously announcing that we are investing in some action-based SKUs by bringing people like Jade Raymond and Amy Henning into our organization to help build those. And those are obviously a few years out in our SKU plan." - Blake Jorgensen

While the news isn't really a surprise, it is disappointing that the new game is still years away. Having such a wonderful team working on the game has raised expectations quite a bit. Joining Amy Hennig is Todd Stashwick, a writer and actor, and Jade Raymond, executive producer of Assassin's Creed II, Watch Dogs, and Splinter Cell Blacklist


Star Wars has made EA cool again Sun, 19 Jul 2015 19:31:22 -0400 Bryan C. Tan

Electronic Arts: the worst company in America.

For two consecutive years, EA was bestowed with that unfortunate honor by Consumerist readers, citing rushed and broken games, petty nickel-and-diming, and lack of customer support. The two famous letters harbored legitimate hate from thousands of gamers who felt mistreated, abused, and scammed.

But although EA had hit a really rough patch with its customers, just one month after winning the worst honor for the second time, EA made what can now be arguably seen as the best customer decision it has ever made: team up with Star Wars.

On May 6th, 2013, EA announced that they had acquired the exclusive rights from The Walt Disney Company to develop and publish new core games based on the Star Wars universe for ten years, spanning consoles, PCs, tablets, mobile, and more.

While some were skeptical at first of the exclusive agreement, they didn't need to wait too long before their doubts were banished, as EA soon announced Star Wars Battlefront, and so far it has been all praise and excitement leading up to its November 17th release date this year.

While Battlefield developer DICE proceeded to be the first ones to utilize EA's Frostbite 3 game engine for Star WarsDead Space developer Visceral Games was rumored to be the first ones to create an open world Star Wars game, and they couldn't have made it more clear after they snatched up the brain behind all things Uncharted, Amy Hennig.

On April 3rd, 2014, then-general manager of Visceral Games, Steve Papoutsis, announced that the creative director of the Uncharted series would become the creative director of the latest Star Wars game. 

After leaving Uncharted developer Naughty Dog, what made one of the best writers in the business choose to go to a developer owned by one of the worst companies in the business? According to Papoutsis, "I could sense that what really excited her about this opportunity was Star Wars."

Being associated with the worst company in America isn't really at the top of anyone's wishlist, but being associated with Star Wars? That's what millions of people around the world dream about everyday.

No one wants to join a company that makes games no one cares about. People want to be part of something great, something celebrated, something cool, and what's cooler in popular culture than a galaxy far, far away?

Hennig's arrival at EA would only be the start, as just last week on July 13th, it was announced that the co-creator of the Assassin's Creed franchise and former president of Ubisoft Toronto, Jade Raymond, will be starting up a new EA studio called Motive in Montreal, and will oversee Visceral Games in California.

Motive will be a "creative-driven team incubating entirely new IP and developing incredible action experiences". But what's the first thing on the to-do list?

"I’m thrilled that the first big project that we will work on in Montreal will have Amy as Creative Director. An opportunity to work with her and the Visceral team, and to play in the Star Wars universe, is once-in-a-lifetime stuff."

 Jade Raymond is a once-in-a-lifetime video gaming professional: she's produced multiple gaming franchises, helped create numerous development groups, and dedicated herself to the advancement of women in the industry.

After leaving Ubisoft last year, there's no doubt that a plethora of opportunities were open to her, and many would have been akin to the work she's done before. But after such a successful twenty years in the industry, what else was there to do? What could be new, fresh, and altogether exciting?

The answer for Raymond was Star Wars, and EA were aptly the only ones that could cross that off the bucket list.

EA's major coup of Star Wars has only led to more major coups, with the revival of a beloved series, the arrival of a prominent writer, and the creation of an all-new studio by a leading executive.

After partnering with Disney, EA has risen from its dreadful status as an evil money-hogging corporation to a creative fan-loving enterprise. Hate has turned into excitement, and staleness has turned into creativity.

EA has become an inviting force for gamers and developers alike thanks to Star Wars, and it looks like it will be that way longer than it's tenure as the worst company in America.

That might only be an assumption, but just two years into the deal, and already Star Wars has made EA cool again.

5 Kick-Ass Women in the Game Industry Sun, 04 May 2014 20:06:13 -0400 WesleyG


Amy Hennig got her Bachelor's degree in English literature from Cal University with her eyes set on the film industry, until she took at job as an artist for Atari. While working on the game Electrocop, she decided that games are "a more interesting and pioneering medium than film" and dropped out of film school to begin her gaming career.


She became the lead designer on Michael Jordan: Chaos in the Windy City before she made a name for herself at Crystal Dynamics as the writer, producer, and director of Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver. She's best known for her work at Naughty Dog on the Uncharted franchise as game director of the original as well as head writer on Among Thieves and Drake's Deception (the last two earned her the Writer's Guild Award for Video Game Writing in 2010 and 2012).


After being reportedly "forced out" of Naughty Dog back in March, she's now working at Visceral Games as the creative director of a currently unknown Star Wars project. If Uncharted 4 takes a dip in quality while a Star Wars game suddenly becomes the new benchmark in storytelling in video games, you'll know why.


Who are some of your favorite women in the game industry? Leave a comment and let us know who deserves to be recognized.


At the age of 12 years old, Corrinne Yu took advantage of the Apple II donated to her junior high school and began programming games. She's credited as an elite programmer on the classic King's Quest series on the Apple II, as well as creating the game engines that would power such games as Borderlands, Halo 4, Quake 2, and others.


Outside of the game industry, she's also programmed for NASA in a key role on America’s Space Shuttle Program at Rockwell International California, making her one of the only people to program both real and virtual spaceships. She's currently working at Naughty Dog, coding animation and graphics for PS4 titles including a remastered edition of The Last of Us.


Kim Swift got her start in games at the Digipen Institute of Technology where she helped code a puzzle game called Narbacular Drop. Kim and her team exhibited the game at a Digipen career fair, where Valve developer Robin Walker invited her and her team to do a presentation of the game for Valve. The team accepted and after their presentation Gabe Newell gave the entire team a job offer to build a new game just like Narbacular Drop.


Kim Swift would become the lead designer on that new game which the world would come to know as Portal. Kim would continue to work on other Valve games such as Left for Dead 1 & 2 before leaving the company in November of 2009 to join Airtight Games.


She created games such as Quantum Conundrum and the Ouya exclusive Soul Fjord before being hired by Amazon last month to help bolster Amazon's new video game development studio. According to Kim's very own LinkedIn page, she's currently "working on secret things for a secret amount of time that no one can know about. Shhhhh."


Robin Hunicke studied "dynamic difficulty adjustment in games" as a graduate student at Northwestern University. During her studies she worked on a mod for Half-Life that adjusted the game's difficulty based on the player's performance before Left 4 Dead's AI Director became a thing.


After a conversation with Will Wright at a conference, she decided to make the jump into the game industry, designing expansion packs for The Sims and becoming the lead designer on MySims. She's best known for her work with thatgamecompany as the Executive Producer for Journey. She's currently the co-founder and CEO of Funomena working on a mostly-unannounced commercial game.


What drives her is her desire to create games that elicit feelings from the player. She recently spoke at Humlab in Sweden about a concept she calls "Feeling-First Games." The short version of it tasks independent developers with building games centered around the desired emotional outcome of the game instead of building games around which mechanics you want to use (is it a shooter, a racing game, etc).


Lets start this list with one of the most well known female voices in indie gaming today, Zoe Quinn.


She's the creator of Depression Quest and a frequent participant of game jams. She's also well-known for being the constant target of harassment that ranges from misspelled attacks to in-depth conspiracy theories. In an industry that would rather cover up and ignore, her willingness to share that harassment in an effort to shed light on the underbelly of the gaming community has made her a respected figure for equality in gaming.


Personally, I'd recommend everyone go play Depression Quest, which is free to play on her website. It wasn't an easy game for me as it brought up memories and feelings from my own struggles with depression back in high school and college.


She's currently working on It's Not Okay, Cupid, a game based on the dating site OK Cupid, and is the narrative designer on Framed.

Whoops! IGN Had It Wrong; Naughty Dog Barks Back Thu, 06 Mar 2014 17:28:50 -0500 Coatedpolecat

In recent weeks we've seen several layoffs and studio-heads parting ways. News that Naughty Dog veteran Amy Hennig leaving isn't shocking. The way she was reportedly "forced out" of her role at the famed studio, is.

Over at IGN, Mitch Dyer and Greg Miller reported that "numerous trusted sources close to Naughty Dog" gave them exclusive information regarding the departure of 10 year creative director Amy Hennig. The article states "sources claim Hennig was 'forced out' by The Last of Us’ Neil Druckmann and Bruce Straley," and so did just about every major publication.

Well, today on Naughty Dogs' official site, Co-Presidents Evan Wells and Christophe Balestra address the "report," and declare it false. They explain 

"Bruce Straley and Neil Druckmann were NOT involved in what transpired... As co-presidents of Naughty Dog, we are responsible for all studio affairs."

The intent of the co-presidents were to clear the names of both Straley and Druckmann. The post ends with a mic drop:

"There is nothing left to be said on this subject.  Now we’re going back to what we should be focused on – making games."