A controversial 2014 news article about the bosses at Naughty Dog is brought back to the limelight after the writer finally came out and admitted the truth behind the write-up.
New information about an issue from 2014 involving The Last of Us 2 makers, Naughty Dog, is being brought to light recently. Accordingly, the issue is about an article from six years ago after Amy Hennig left the company.
The “forced out” issue in Naughty Dog
In 2014, then-IGN writer Mitch Dyer wrote a piece about their alleged “numerous trusted sources” confirming that Amy Hennig, a game director and scriptwriter for the Uncharted game franchise, forced out by Neil Druckmann and Bruce Straley.
Hennig’s exit resulted in Druckmann and Straley taking control of the development of Unchartered.
Nothing but a “forced gossip”
The writer of the piece, Mitch Dyer, has since left the media publication in 2016. In a recent thread of tweet, the former IGN writer revealed that his former managers Tal Blevins and Steve Butts forced him into injecting an unproven claim about Hennig’s Naughty Dog exit.
One of his tweets read:
“When I reported on Amy leaving Naughty Dog, Steve Butts and Tal Blevins forced gossip into the story. They heard it was a hostile takeover. We didn’t want to publish it. I tried to take my name off the story. They would not allow me to do so.”
He then goes on to narrate that when Sony “justifiably condemned” the writeup, his former bosses stayed silent. They didn’t even vouch for him.
To Neil Druckmann and Bruce Straley who were caught in the crossfire of IGN's hostile, toxic leadership, I'm so sorry.
I am responsible for the anger, disgust, and disappointment you lived with then, and I'll never forgive myself for buckling beneath these manipulative monsters.
— Mitch Dyer (@MitchyD) June 23, 2020
He then apologized to the Naughty Dogs dev Druckmann and Straley who were, per Dyer’s words, “caught in the crossfire of IGN’s hostile, toxic leadership.”
The two devs have replied to Dyer’s revelation, expressing that they do not hold a grudge against him. They also thanked him for finally putting the truth out in public.
Thanks Mitch. I appreciate you saying this. Sounds like you were in a tough situation. Sorry. TBH, I learned from this too. That most "news" on internal company politics is about 20% true & 1000% more nuanced than what twitter (or fans) can handle. So we all grew. Be well.🕊️ https://t.co/d9B7pjwocN
— Bruce Straley (@bruce_straley) June 23, 2020
Although, Druckmann honestly said that this issue had angered him for a long time.
Wow, dude. Not gonna lie… I was angry for a long time about this. I appreciate you putting the truth out there. Please know I don’t hold a grudge and wish you the best. Sorry for what you went through. https://t.co/NEX1qv5akK
— Neil Druckmann (@Neil_Druckmann) June 23, 2020
The truth came from a trauma tweet talk against former bosses
To those who wondered why Dyer suddenly revealed the truth about the 2014 issue, it wasn’t because he was riding on the success train of Naughty Dog following the release of The Last of Us 2.
Solidarity with my IGN coworkers who endured emotional terror from Tal Blevins and Steve Butts. In my time from 2012 to 2016, I felt taken advantage of, exploited and manipulated, and afraid for my job at nearly every turn. And I was one of the "lucky" ones working for them.
— Mitch Dyer (@MitchyD) June 23, 2020
Instead, he was citing one of his biggest traumatic experiences while working in IGN under the wing of Tal Blevins and Steve Butts. He showing solidarity to his former co-workers who also suffered from their bosses’ abuses.
Other writers also revealed their individual experiences as well, following the recent issues looming the gaming industry with bosses who reportedly abused their employees.