The lights are on
Naughty Dog has released a statement on the departure of Uncharted's Amy Henning, denying reports that she had been forced out by Bruce Straley and Neil Druckmann.
Here is the statement in full:
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. – Evan Wells and Chrisophe Balestra
The refutes earlier report from IGN, which claimed that Straley and Druckmann were behind Hennig's departure.
[Note: Naughty Dog's site appears to be having problems right now, but I did get the page to load and the above text was directly copied from it, without editing]
Source: Naughty Dog
Our Take:I'm glad Naughty Dog has decided to speak out on the matter. However, I do want to clarify how Game Informer went about covering this. We, like everyone else, saw the news break on IGN. We contacted a Sony representative and confirmed that Amy had indeed left, something she later confirmed herself on Twitter. We ran the story and did include this paragraph which included the allegation from IGN as an unconfirmed report: "Unconfirmed reports from IGN say according to "numerous trusted sources," Hennig was "forced out" of Naughty Dog by The Last of Us directors Neil Druckmann and Bruce Straley, and that the two will take over development on Uncharted 4."
At that point, we reached out to both Evan Wells and Amy Hennig herself via email and Twitter regarding the report that Straley and Druckmann had forced her ouster. We did not receive responses from either Wells or Hennig, until the statement from Wells and co-head Chrisophe Balestra was posted this evening. I wanted to be clear to our readers that we did pursue all information that we could get on this.
Email the author Matt Helgeson, or follow on Twitter, and Game Informer.