It goes without saying that AAA gaming’s creative community is incredibly competitiv, which in turn saddles writers, designers, and coders with a lot of intense expectations. This notion is especially true whenever a well-known game developer such as Naughty Dog has remarkably high standards to meet when releasing the next entry in a popular franchise, like they’re expected to do with Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End.
Bearing that in mind, even big video game companies like Naughty Dog aren’t immune to complications or setbacks. If anything, their large size only facilitates the possibility of innumerable difficulties. In fact, during the middling stages of development for Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, the California-based studio had to face the huge problem of reverting back to square one for the game after 8 months of solid work needed to be scrapped when Uncharted‘s veteran writer Amy Hennig left the organization.
The news comes from Nolan North – the actor most famously known for providing award-winning voice-over work for Nathan Drake – as he had been speaking with an audience during a Q&A panel at MetroCon. According to a thread on the popular gaming forum NeoGAF, a crowd member had asked North about his take on Amy Hennig’s departure from Naughty Dog, and how her leaving led to the subsequent changes made to Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End.
Regarding Hennig’s exit and the inevitable amendments that had to be implemented in the game’s script, North says:
“We had shot 8 months of her story and it was all thrown away. The Last of Us guys came in, and you have to understand, new producers, new people, they want to do it. I don’t know what happened exactly. Amy is still a very dear friend of mine and she’s brilliant, but the Last of Us guys were the next team there so they took over and they just wanted their own flavor. They got rid of some of the other people that were involved and just redid their thing.”
North goes on to add that the current script’s tone rings a little bit differently than that of Hennig’s, but it remains true to the Uncharted series’ storied vision. Plus, he makes sure to clear the air that his relationship with the writer remains unchanged, and even goes so far as to sing the praises of her upcoming work with Visceral Games, saying, “Amy is still a very dear friend of mine and she’s brilliant . . . she’s gone to EA and is going to reboot a brand new Star Wars franchise in the style of Uncharted, and I happen to know a lot about it and it’s gonna be awesome.”
Aside from North’s statement on the issue, rumors have been circulating that after having spent ten years working with Naughty Dog, Hennig was forced out of her position by The Last of Us creative leads Neil Druckmann and Bruce Straley. However, such claims are nothing more than hearsay and remain unsubstantiated.
Regardless, the mysterious Visceral Star Wars project to which Hennig is currently attached will share similar traits with Star Wars: 1313, the jinxed third-person action game from LucasArts, and is apparently inspired by some elements from the Uncharted series. Nevertheless, Electronic Arts has yet to provide any tangible specifics about the game.
After taking all of this in, one can only hope that Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End can overcome the hype to deliver the exquisite storytelling and mind-blowing action we’ve come to expect from the franchise. And if the title’s gameplay trailer is any indication of what the game has in store for us when it’s released, fans can rest easy knowing that Nathan Drake’s fate is in good hands.
Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End is set for release in 2016 exclusively on the PlayStation 4.