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

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.

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.

Caty McCarthy

Senior Editor

Caty McCarthy is a former freelance writer whose work has appeared in Kill Screen, VICE, The AV Club, Kotaku, Polygon, and IGN. When she's not blathering into a podcast mic, reading a book, or playing a billion video games at once, she's probably watching Terrace House or something. She is currently USgamer's Senior Editor.

In other news

NPD: PS5 Sets New US Console Launch Records While Switch Holds Strong

A strong debut for Sony hasn't stopped Switches from flying off shelves.

The Last of Us Part 2 Takes Home Top Prize at The Game Awards: Here Are All the Winners

Hades, Final Fantasy 7 Remake, and Among Us did get some well-earned love too.

Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales Receives a Surprise Ray Tracing Performance Mode Update on PS5

Can't choose between 60 FPS and ray tracing? There's a new mode for you.

Quantic Dream Announces Publishing Deal for Dustborn, From the Makers of Dreamfall

Red Thread's dystopian road trip may end up being the first title published by David Cage's newly independent studio.

Need help?

GTA 5 Cheats

Discover all the GTA 5 cheats with this handy GTA V cheats PS4, GTA 5 cheats Xbox One, and PC guide for free GTA money and more. Plus get all the Grand Theft Auto 5 cheats for Xbox 360 and PS3.

Red Dead Redemption 2 Best Mods That You Should Download Now

RDR2 just released for PC players and that means more and more mods are coming in every day. Here are the best mods available right now for Red Dead Redemption 2.

10 GTA 5 Secrets That You Won't Believe

GTA 5 is a massive game, filled with brilliant secrets and Easter eggs. We've rounded up the 10 most amazing GTA 5 secrets.