In a very informative and candid interview with Game Informer, Naughty Dog co-president Evan Wells reveals that Bruce Straley and Neil Druckmann are taking over the creative direction of Uncharted 4 as co-leads. They will be replacing outgoing writer and Uncharted creative director Amy Hennig, who left the studio earlier this year.
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The interview also mentions the thoughts on the perceived exodus surrounding Hennig’s departure, where Evan states, “The perception and what’s being ‘reported’ is in stark contrast to the feeling here at the studio. Everyone [at Naughty Dog] is energized and excited to show off what we’ve been working on. There are no doom and gloom feelings, unlike what’s being portrayed by the ‘journalists’ that are writing these stories.”
The ‘journalists’ jab Wells is alluding to could quite likely be at IGN’s Mitch Dyer, who broke the story as a rumor, claiming that his sources informed him that she was pushed out by both Straley and Druckmann in an effort to take over Uncharted 4. If it turns out to be an amicable separation between Hennig and Naughty Dog, then one passage from the interview captures the disappointment that the rumor would have created.
"Spike’s Geoff Keighley was present at the duo’s first public appearance that took place just eight days after the Hennig story broke, and his thoughts sum up the experience well. “Here you have two guys who had just won Game of the Year at the BAFTAs but weren’t able to enjoy the moment,” Keighley says. “Instead, they nervously walked around the after party wondering what everyone was saying under their breath about their supposed villainous ways. It was kind of heartbreaking to see that moment taken from them.”"
Finally, the interview also reveals that, because Straley and Druckmann will co-lead creative direction of Uncharted 4, someone else will be taking over the reins of another Naughty Dog title that is in “very early pre-production stages.” So while it appears as though Naughty Dog will be just fine in the interim, a surprise new IP could shake up the status quo in the years to come. Hopefully we get to see Uncharted 4 in action during E3 2014 this year, if not during Sony’s media briefing.
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