Amy Hennig and Julian Beak form new Skydance studio to create ‘story-focused experiences’

Former Naughty Dog and Electronic Arts alumni Amy Hennig has announced she has joined Skydance Media to work on “new story-focused experiences”.

“Thrilled to announce that I’m joining the Skydance creative team in a venture to explore new frontiers in interactive storytelling!” Hennig said by way of a tweet on her personal Twitter account, which has been updated to reveal she’s now president of New Media Division, Skydance Media. 

Skydance – the Hollywood studio behind movies like of Mission: Impossible – wants to create “new story-focused experiences [that] will employ state-of-the-art computer graphics to provide the visual fidelity of television and film, but with an active, lean-in experience that puts the audience in the driver’s seat” (thanks, Eurogamer). Alongside former Electronic Arts executive Julian Beak, Hennig will reportedly form a new game studio “in the Bay Area and at Skydance Media’s headquarters in Santa Monica, California”.

“After Visceral closed, we both looked at the industry. We said we were going to take a little time,” Hennig said in a press release. “Looking at the landscape, it felt like we were in an inflection point. And not just the game industry, but the centre of the entertainment industry as a whole. And so we just were fortunate enough to have the opportunity to do a survey of the industry and talk to people and engage with people in the industry, as well as in the traditional entertainment industry. Just to see where people thought the wind was blowing. Who were we going to partner with?”

“The interactive media landscape is continually changing and Amy and Julian are creative and visionary leaders of this evolution,” added 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.”

Hennig has worked across a number of disciplines in Naughty Dog and Crystal Dynamics, but most recently served as a senior creative director at Electronic Arts, where she oversaw the development of the cancelled Visceral Games’ Star Wars single-player title. She left the company when EA shut down Visceral in October 2017.

About Vikki Blake

It took 15 years of civil service monotony for Vikki to crack and switch to writing about games. She has since become an experienced reporter and critic working with a number of specialist and mainstream outlets in both the UK and beyond, including Eurogamer, GamesRadar+, IGN, MTV, and Variety.

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