Naughty Dog: Straley, Druckmann Not Involved in Hennig’s Departure

Uncharted writer Amy Hennig was not “forced out,” Naughty Dog says in a statement that calls reports of her departure unprofessional and upsetting.

On Tuesday, news broke that Hennig, the award-winning lead writer and director on Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune, Uncharted 2: Among Thieves and Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception, had parted ways with Naughty Dog. Parent company Sony confirmed the news, but would only say that Hennig “left” without providing a reason for her departure.

Citing “numerous trusted sources close to Naughty Dog,” IGN reported that Hennig was “forced out” by The Last of Us Creative Director Neil Druckmann and Game Director Bruce Straley. It’s that report that Naughty Dog has taken issue with.

Naughty Dog Co-Presidents Evan Wells and Christophe Balestra posted this statement in response:

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.

Hennig herself has not commented on the circumstances of her departure.

Not to further fan the flames of speculation, but it’s worth nothing that Hennig retweeted an unrelated Tweet by Mitch Dyer yesterday, the IGN writer who reported she was “forced out” by Druckmann and Straley.

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2 Comments on Naughty Dog: Straley, Druckmann Not Involved in Hennig’s Departure

R.J.

On March 7, 2014 at 3:26 pm

So now we’re in the position of wondering which version is true. On the one hand, the original reports were only cited to “trusted sources” and it’s hard to put a lot of faith in anonymous sources, but at the same time, I can’t blame people for wanting to make a situation they disagree with known while still keeping their job. On the other hand, we have an official statement from the company, but official statements are almost always made in an effort to say that “all is well” regardless of how true that may be. Unfortunately, high profile departures that are less than amicable are almost always coupled with non-disclosure agreements, so we’ll likely never get the full picture.

Uwe

On March 8, 2014 at 10:03 am

I sense another six-page sneering Ross Lincoln or Phil Owen article that once again overlooks the facts (or lack thereof in this instance) and instead claims that this is another example of sexism in the games industry.