Ever since EA shut down Visceral Games last fall, the status of Amy Hennig has been unclear. Hennig was the project lead for a story-driven Star Wars game being developed by the studio and, following its closing, Hennig's status within the company had not been determined. According to a recent report, though, the former Uncharted head has not been working at EA for quite some time, and is instead building up a small studio of her own.
Word on Hennig's career following the scrapping of her EA project has been basically nonexistent but, according to a recent interview with Eurogamer, that's been intentional. There's a lot of red tape involved when it comes to contracts in the world of video games and, according to Hennig, EA didn't seem to want to talk about the fact that she and the publisher had parted ways.
As Hennig puts it, she hansn't been working for EA since January and has been quietly building her own projects in the background since then. She said she doesn't have anything to announce at the time and seemed to be a little frustrated that she couldn't really announce her new career path until now.
Still, we're happy to hear she's doing what she's great at: creating video games. Hennig said she has been pulling together her own independent studio and would like to eventually build to a team of no more than 15 in order to start creating games again. Nothing specific seems to be rolling just yet, but she stated an interest in focusing on the VR market at some point down the line.
Amy Hennig left Naughty Dog after completing her work on the third game in the celebrated Uncharted series. She was eventually scooped up by EA, who put her at the head of Visceral Games to get to work on a new Star Wars title that, based on all of the buzz surrounding the game, sounded a heck of a lot like it was inspired by Uncharted. If you want to take a moment and imagine what an Uncharted game set in the Star Wars universe would be like, you'll likely understand why so many people were excited for whatever Hennig and Visceral were working on.
In recent years, publishers like EA, Activision, and Ubisoft have been shifting more and more projects toward the games as a service model. That typically includes bare-bones narratives in big, open worlds, with gameplay and content loops meant to keep players coming back for more. It that's too vague, think Destiny, The Division or Anthem and you've got a good idea of what we're talking about.
Last fall, EA determined Hennig's game, which was largely narrative-focused, was too linear and didn't exactly fit into that whole games as service ecosystem. As a result, another team has been put on a games as service Star Wars title, Visceral was shuttered and the game they had been working on is currently "on the shelf."
That's a shame but, again, we're happy to learn that Hennig is already rolling on whatever comes next.