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Star Wars no more: Amy Hennig starts her own studio

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Amy Hennig, the writer and director of the Uncharted series who had been working on Visceral’s shelved Star Wars game, has left Electronic Arts and started her own studio. Well, she really left EA in January but hasn’t had the chance to talk about that in detail until yesterday, when she spoke to our pally wallys at Eurogamer. Now she’s starting a small studio and thinking about doing some VR projects. The single player Star Wars game she and the other Visceralites envisioned, has been out of her hands since the project was handed over to EA Vancouver.

“So yeah, I’m not doing anything Star Wars,” she said. “And, who knows what the future may hold, but that project is on the shelf now.””I’m working independently and staying independent,” she told Eurogamer at Barcelona Gamelab. “I just started my own small little independent studio and am consulting with some people. I’m hoping to bring some people on board, I would love to have a little company of about six to eight people, 15 at the most, and do some more projects, do some VR stuff – I’m consulting with some VR companies and doing a ton of research because I haven’t played a lot to immerse myself in it.”

EA announced they were closing down Visceral last year, and taking their Star Wars game (codenamed ‘Ragtag’) off their hands. It was being headed by Hennig and expected to be a single player Uncharted-style action adventure within a Star Wars setting. You know, with sun killers and laser rapiers and what-have-you. It later emerged there was a lot of development trouble, including understaffing, publisher pressure, and the fact that Lucasfilm had to approve every little thing that might affect their beloved universe. Some people working on the project laid blame on Hennig too, according to Kotaku’s report on the studio’s problems, saying she didn’t delegate enough of her decisions.

She’s left the publisher behind now. But told our Eurofriends that there are no hard feelings.

“I get along with all those people,” she said. “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.”

Hennig’s new studio is still in its early stages and they haven’t announced anything yet. As for the Star Wars game, it’s still being worked on at EA’s internal studio at Vancouver and has changed a lot, according to the former showrunner.

“The Vancouver studio is working on something pretty different,” said Hennig. “It’s really not… Y’know, once you go more open world it’s such a different game to the one we were making. Everybody loved what we were doing and I’d love to see us resurrect that somehow, but it’s complicated.”

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Brendan Caldwell

Features Editor

Brendan likes all types of games. To him there is wisdom in Crusader Kings 2, valour in Dark Souls, and tragicomedy in Nidhogg.

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