Former Uncharted Director Amy Hennig Talks About Life After Star Wars, Decries Gaming Elitism

During an on-stage talk with Tim Schafer at DICE Summit 2019, Amy Hennig divulged what's been interesting her as of late.

Today at DICE Summit 2019, former Uncharted writer and director Amy Hennig and Double Fine founder Tim Schafer hosted an on-stage conversation. Their talk bounced from joking about the cocaine-filled early 90s-era of EA ("I wasn't indulging in any of it," says Hennig) and Hennig even being rejected from LucasArts when Schafer was at the studio in 1989. The conversation took a turn when the topic twisted to Hennig's future, which has been a hot topic of discussion since the dissolution of Visceral Games and its Star Wars project she was creatively directing.

Hennig said her past year has consisted of a lot of meetings and contract gigs, "taking the temperature of the industry." Amidst it all, she's found herself gravitating towards finite experiences in games like Return of the Obra Dinn and Florence. "Everyone's experience with [Florence] is different because of the emotional tactile response," said Hennig. "I wish we were doing more of that in a mainstream space."

Staving off worries of herself "selling out," Hennig assured the audience that with whatever she tackles next, it will be in her "wheelhouse" of adventure and mystery stories. But she wants her next project to be accessible and welcome to new gamers too.

Part of her recent inspiration, Hennig says, comes from recent bouts of interactive media, including Netflix's Bandersnatch interactive movie—even if its approach is a bit wrong. "I'm not meaning this to knock Bandersnatch, but in my mind it feels backwards to me," said Hennig, noting that she "played" through the movie three times with different sets of people. "It takes the thing that we want to be doing, and makes it passive." But where Bandersnatch succeeded was in its discoverability: something that she thinks is sorely missing for a lot of story driven games like Florence.

"We need to get over our elitism over what constitutes a game," said Hennig. "There's so many people we could be reaching if we weren't so reductive of what [a game is]." She added that part of what's great about story-driven games—she's hesitant to use the word linear as it has a negative connotation—are that they're just as watchable as they are playable. Schafer agreed, talking about his experience with the horror game Until Dawn and how people watching could have just as much fun as playing.

As for what's next in her career, Hennig remained relatively mum. "So you played Florence and now you're going to make a Florence game," Schafer said to widespread laughter. "No," Hennig replied with a chuckle. So don't expect Florence 2 from games industry legend Amy Hennig, dear readers. At the moment, she's just feeling out her options at this crossroads of the industry, and it will be a minute until we see what path she takes next.

Tagged with Action Adventure, Amy Hennig, DICE Summit 2019, Indie, Naughty Dog, News, PC, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Tim Schafer, Uncharted: Drake's Fortune.

Sometimes we include links to online retail stores. If you click on one and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. See our terms & conditions.

Read this next

The Troubled Uncharted Movie Finally Gets a 2020 Release Date

Nathan Drake is one step closer to becoming a movie star.

Poe Dameron in Star Wars: Episode 9 Looks Just Like Nathan Drake

The Rise of Skywalker, or just Uncharted 3?

God of War Wins Another GOTY at 2019 Game Developers Choice Awards

The developers have spoken and Sony Santa Monica's God of War is their winner.

The Amy Hennig Interview: On What Changed With Uncharted 4, Leaving EA, and What's Next

At DICE Summit 2019, we catch up with one of the industry's most beloved writers and directors.

The Best Mobile Games for iOS and Android

From smartphones to tablets, these are the best games you can get on your iOS and Android devices.

Matt's Top 10 Games of 2018: Falling Into Place

It was kind of a weird year if I'm being honest.

More News

Plants vs. Zombies 3 Is Happening, But For Now It's Locked In Pre-Alpha

Time to get the army of the dead off my dang lawn again.

PUBG Has A Canon Origin Story Now, And It's Bonkers

Coping with trauma by starting a death-game island.

Trails of Cold Steel 3's Western Launch Delayed By A Month

North America and Europe will have to wait a bit longer.

Streets of Rage 4 Brings Back Composers From the Genesis Games

And adds some notable additional talent as well.

More on PC

Fortnite Season 10: Mecha Versus Monster Battle

Fortnite is set to change once again. Here’s what we know about Fortnite Season 10 so far.

PUBG Has A Canon Origin Story Now, And It's Bonkers

Coping with trauma by starting a death-game island.

Metal Gear Solid 2's Commentary On America On The Brink Resonates Just As Strong Today

An essay on Metal Gear Solid 2, from a new book collection of Metal Gear Solid essays Okay, Hero.

Streets of Rage 4 Brings Back Composers From the Genesis Games

And adds some notable additional talent as well.

Apex Legends Is Matching Cheaters and Spammers With Each Other

Giving them what they deserve: each other.

It Took Several "Crappy Prototypes" For Furi Developer To Get To Haven

A change in pace was not easy, but it was much needed.

More Action Adventure Games

New Switch Joy-Con Colors are Coming but Fans Wonder if Nintendo's Fixed the Notorious "Joy-Con Drift"

Joy-Cons are like cars in racing anime: They're snazzy and they're good at drifting.

How Does Fire Emblem: Three Houses Stack Up Against Persona, Bully, and Other Games With School Settings?

We don't need no education, but video game characters are another story.

What's Your Favorite Video Game Spinoff?

COMMUNITY QUESTION | Dragon Quest's latest spinoff is out, so let's talk about other spinoff games we adore.