Amy Hennig, the director and writer of Uncharted 1, 2, and 3, as well as Jak 3, Battlefield: Hardline, and Visceral’s cancelled Star Wars game, is launching a new games studio. Hennig has joined Skydance Media, the company that produced such films as Mission Impossible Fallout, Gemini Man, Annihilation, and Terminator: Dark Fate. She will oversee the company’s new game development label, working alongside her former Electronic Arts co-worker Julian Beak. This news comes via a report from VentureBeat, and Skydance has since issued a press release welcoming Hennig and Beak on board.
Thrilled to announce that I’m joining the Skydance creative team in a venture to explore new frontiers in interactive storytelling! https://t.co/TFgRK2iYen
— Amy Hennig (@amy_hennig) November 18, 2019The interactive media landscape is continually changing and Amy and Julian are creative and visionary leaders of this evolution,” said David Ellison, CEO of Skydance Media, in a statement. “Together, we will create within this new sphere the same type of event-level entertainment experiences that Skydance is known for in features and television.”
In a statement to VentureBeat, company CEO David Ellison says that the pair have been hired because “the interactive media landscape is continually changing and Amy and Julian are creative and visionary leaders of this evolution.” Hennig, whose first credit is 1989’s ElectroCop, says that her studio will make games aimed at both traditional gamers and “non-gamers,” and will work on “story-focused experiences” for “both traditional and emerging streaming platforms.” Hennig left EA after the closure of Visceral, the studio behind the Dead Space series, and the cancellation of the Star Wars game she was working on. At Skydance Media, she says, she met “kindred spirits” who believed in her work.
Hennig says that, while they haven’t settled on exactly what they will work on first, she will take on an “interactive showrunner” role, while Beak will serve as an executive producer on their titles. Her aim is to work as “a storyteller” with her games. She believes that the studio will remain “small and focused” under her supervision, working on smaller titles.
Skydance Media has some involvement in games already, and are working on The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners, as well as their previous VR title Archangel. The company courted controversy earlier this year after hiring disgraced former Disney/Pixar animation chief John Lasseter, who left the company after allegations of sexual harassment arose. Lasseter’s hiring eventually led to Emma Thompson exiting a movie produced by the company.