Uncharted Creator Left EA After Star Wars Game Shake-Up
This project is in a state of perfect hibernation.
Update: Amy Hennig has spoken out on Twitter to clarify any confusion regarding her Star Wars game reportedly being shelved. This is in reference to her original work, rather than the evolution of her work that continues at EA Vancouver. "To clarify, I left EA six months ago, shortly after the closure of Visceral (along with most of the team)," she wrote. "The story we were crafting has essentially been shelved, but EA Vancouver’s Star Wars game is still very much alive, and I wish my colleagues there nothing but the best." The original story follows.
Uncharted creator Amy Hennig left EA earlier this year, and the Star Wars game she was previously heading up has been put on the shelf. That's according to recent comments she made at the Gamelab conference in Barcelona, which makes for the first update we've heard about the single-player game since EA shut down Visceral last October.
"I'm not doing anything Star Wars," Hennig told Eurogamer. "And, who knows what the future may hold, but that project is on the shelf now." When Visceral shut down, EA transferred the project to EA Vancouver. Hennig said the new open-world approach was much different than what her team had been working on. "Everybody loved what we were doing and I'd love to see us resurrect that somehow, but it's complicated."
She also said that following the shutdown of Visceral in October, her status as an EA employee was in flux and she never before had the opportunity to give a concrete answer.
"I have not worked at EA since January, technically, legally," she said. "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."
As for what's keeping Hennig busy these days, she said she's started her own independent studio and she's been doing some consulting. She also expressed a desire to bring on staff of six to eight to explore some VR projects.
EA issued a statement to GameSpot regarding Hennig's departure. "Yes, Amy Hennig has moved on from Electronic Arts," a spokesperson said. "Amy is an amazing storyteller--a crafter and a creator. We have so much respect for her and the creative spirit she brought to the teams and projects she worked on at EA. We wish Amy all the best with what comes next, and we will all be watching with excitement."
When Hennig explained her Star Wars project, it characteristically sounded a lot like Uncharted with a light sense of humor. When EA made the call to shift the project to Vancouver, worldwide studios VP Patrick Soderlund said it was "shaping up to be a story-based, linear adventure game" and that the company's research convinced it to pivot to a game type that players could keep coming back to for a long time.
At E3 2018, Respawn's Vince Zampella revealed the title and some basic details about its own Star Wars game, Jedi Fallen Order. It is slated for 2019 and will take place between Episodes 3 and 4 during the Jedi purge.