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Veteran Member - Level 11
I normally avoid talking about industry news and current
events. I try to leave that to the pros since they are far more adept at covering
the stories than I am. But the latest news regarding Amy Hennig's surprise
departure from Naughty Dog really kind of got me fired up. Perhaps it's because
she's a writer whom I really respect and admire, or maybe it's because of her
contributions to the Uncharted series - one of my favorite games of all times -
and one of the best games of all times. This news is fresh off the heels of Ken
Levine's recent announcement about the drastic changes and refocusing of
efforts at Irrational Games.
These events have led me to wonder...
Does industry news, especially when it's bad, change my
thoughts about the people affected and those individuals and/or organizations
that caused the news in the first place?
Should we be upset or mad at Naughty Dog for allowing this
Should we be upset or mad with Ken Levine for gutting our
beloved Irrational Games?
Of course there are two sides to every story and the truth
is we will very likely never hear all of the details of either story...or those
that have happened in the past or those that will likely happen in the future.
In the case of Irrational Games, I read some of the official
announcements posted at the company website. There was a particular
announcement that seemed very positive...that the staff that lost their jobs
would be taken care of while they seek new employment opportunities...that gamers
would still be treated to the highest caliber gaming experiences. The industry reports
painted a very different picture, and even some of the conversations on the
various social media channels exposed an opposing view starkly contrasting the
official company announcement. It's so easy to like Ken Levine - he is a
visionary and an icon in the industry. But it's hard to overlook the fact those
who stood in the trenches alongside him (except for a select few) to bring us
some of the greatest games ever...are now looking for a new place to work for no
real explainable reason. The video game industry is a business, and like other
businesses, this is bound to happen. But I would be lying if I said I wasn't a little
peeved this happened. But should it? Should I be peeved? Do I have the right to be peeved or enough insight to be peeved? I don't know all of the details. In fact,
I really only know a little about how or why this happened.
The same is true with Amy Hennig.
When I heard the news Amy Hennig was leaving Naughty Dog I
was shocked. Like Ken Levine, Amy Hennig is a legend in the industry. She's not
the sort of person you would expect to hear about in the news for leaving a
company she helped achieve the success they've enjoyed. My shock soon turned to
resentment as I read a few of the stories suggesting she left because of some
sort of issue with some of the Last of Us producers. Again, I don't know how
fair that is to Naughty Dog, because I don't know all of the details...but I can't
help it. Whenever we experience change, our natural reaction is to resist and
fight it. And I don't like the thought of an Uncharted game without Amy Hennig.
I suppose it's possible everybody at Irrational Games that
lost their jobs were okay with it. Maybe they knew, maybe they expected it,
maybe they were ready, maybe it's not that big of a deal to them.
Or maybe they are mad about it too.
Obviously Amy Hennig won't be unemployed very long and
likely has plenty of companies calling her up and offering her plenty of
employment opportunities. Maybe she is fine with leaving...happier for leaving.
Or maybe she is sad the characters she brought to life and made
successful are no longer hers to explore and care for.
It's unfortunate, but this certainly isn't the first time
and definitely won't be the last time events such as these have unfolded and
rattled the sanctity of our video game world. I read the news headlines and I
want to hope for the best even when I fear the worst is more likely true.
While I sincerely doubt Amy Hennig would ever see my little ole blog, I'd still like to say publicly - thank you for all the hard work and passion you have poured into the characters and stories you've given us over the years. They are simply...the best.