There was never much doubt that another Uncharted game would be made after 2011's Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception, but no one could have guessed that the next game in the franchise would be made without the series' longtime creative director, Amy Hennig. Hennig had been with Naughty Dog for a decade, since the PlayStation 2 era, and she had helped build Uncharted from the ground up, serving as a game director, head writer and creative director at various points.
But in early 2014, Uncharted fans were shocked to discover that Hennig had left the company. Some rumors at the time suggested that she was "forced out" by former colleagues, though Naughty Dog's co-presidents denied this. Hennig's director spot on Uncharted 4: A Thief's End was filled by Bruce Straley and Neil Druckmann, the duo who had previously headed up Naughty Dog's popular The Last of Us.
Whatever the real story behind Hennig's departure from Naughty Dog, Straley, Druckmann and the rest of the team behind Uncharted 4 went out of their way to give her special thanks in the game's credits. Near the end of the credits, the screen below appears, and the game stays still on it for around 10 seconds. It reads: "With sincere and deep gratitude to AMY HENNIG for her contributions to the Uncharted franchise."
According to voice actor Nolan North, around eight months of finished work on Uncharted 4 was thrown away when Hennig left. But however much of her vision for this specific game remained, her contributions to the franchise as a whole are undeniable, and it's good to see Naughty Dog acknowledging that.
Since leaving Naughty Dog, Amy Hennig has joined the Electronic Arts-owned Visceral Games to work as creative director on a Star Wars game that will reportedly be "in the style of Uncharted." As for Uncharted 4, it will be available for PlayStation 4 next Tuesday, May 10. You can read Polygon's review of the latest (and supposedly final) Nathan Drake adventure here.