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EA lost its creative mind Amy Hennig after her Star Wars game was reshaped

by Ron Duwell | July 3, 2018July 3, 2018 8:30 am PDT

Amy Hennig, co-creator and writer of the Uncharted franchise, has confirmed that she no longer holds a position at EA. The large publisher picked up Hennig back in 2015 to work with Dead Space developer Visceral Games to create an original, single-player Star Wars game.

Well, as we know by now, Visceral Games never got around to the Star Wars title, was shuttered last October, and Hennig’s Star Wars game shifted to EA Vancouver to be completely reshaped after it was deemed too linear.

You can imagine why the creative mind behind a franchise as popular as Uncharted wouldn’t want to stick around with such drama. Instead, Hennig announced at the Gamelab conference in Barcelona that she not only quit EA back in January, she also is working independently and has started her own studio.

I’m working independently and staying independent. I just started my own small little independent studio and am consulting with some people. I’m hoping to bring some people on board, I would love to have a little company of about six to eight people, 15 at the most, and do some more projects, do some VR stuff – I’m consulting with some VR companies and doing a ton of research because I haven’t played a lot to immerse myself in it

Hennig also explained that she still respects EA even if the game took a decision she didn’t agree with. Leaving the company also sounded like a challenge.

I’m not, I have not worked at EA since January, technically, legally. Yes. This is the problem, it was hard enough for them, but people were immediately asking them ‘is Amy working with you?’ and the answer was ‘well, we’re in negotiations…’ like, hmm. It was, sort of the soft pedal answer.

I haven’t been in, but look – I get along with all those people, I consider even the guys on the exec team friends. But it made it awkward because it was like, ‘I never got the chance to announce that I’m not at EA so I need to just pull off that band-aid at some point – but also had nothing to announce. It makes it sound like I just went home! But I’m doing all this stuff, working on all kinds of things.

Finally, she confirmed that a game is still in the works, just not her game.

The Vancouver studio is working on something pretty different. It’s really not… Y’know, once you go more open world it’s such a different game to the one we were making. Everybody loved what we were doing and I’d love to see us resurrect that somehow, but it’s complicated.

You can waste time with your friends when your chores are done

The single player Star Wars game from EA has undergone a tumultuous development phase which has spanned for over a thousand generations. Originally, it was revealed in 2012 as a “next-gen” Star Wars game called Star Wars 1313, and it focused on the darker, smuggler’s side of the Star Wars universe. This version of the game ceased development when Disney acquired Star Wars back in 2013.

Shortly after that, we learned that the title was originally supposed to be a Boba Fett game, as seen in the concept art in the gallery. EA took the opportunity from the leak to confirm that it was still working on a single-player experience in the Star Wars universe and that it had tapped Visceral Games to do it.

The rest is history… Hennig came aboard in 2015, Visceral went under in 2017, EA Vancouver picked up the title to make it an open-world game, and the gaming world feels like it’s being slowly digested over 1,000 years.

Those are the breaks, I guess. EA determined single-player, linear games aren’t popular enough anymore… unless you’re titled Super Mario Odyssey, God of War, The Last of Us 2, etc. and I guess there’s always room in the world for another unfocused, open-world sandbox experience. But hey, it’s Star Wars, so it will sell. Am I right?

Eurogamer

Ron Duwell

Ron has been living it up in Japan for the last decade, and he has no intention of leaving this technical wonderland any time soon. When he's not...

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