Two years after Visceral Games’ shuttering, Amy Hennig, who’d helmed a scrapped Star Wars project at Visceral, will soon return to gaming. The Uncharted creator is teaming with Skydance Media to produce games for “emerging streaming platforms.” She’ll be joined by Julian Beak, a fellow Visceral alum who’d also worked on the EA-canceled Star Wars title.
According to Polygon, Beak and Hennig will lead a new team for Skydance in the San Francisco Bay Area. Offices at Skydance Media headquarters in Santa Monica will also be at the team’s disposal. Little is known about what the project itself may entail, since neither a title nor concrete information are presently on offer. At the time of writing, which streaming platforms Skydance has in mind remains under lock and key.
Brief statements concerning the project suggests something ambitious and, unsurprisingly, centered on narrative. Hennig noted her and Beak have their sights on “pioneering new ways to tell immersive stories through technology.” She added, “our goal is to create inviting and innovative experiences with the high production values and visual fidelity that will set the standard in this new media landscape.”
Evidently, their hopes with regards to visual fidelity are indeed high. Another statement about the unnamed project alludes to graphics that will provide fidelity mirroring that of television and film. It reads,
[The Skydance project is] designed to reach gamers and non-gamers alike on emerging streaming platforms, new story-focused experiences — crafted as an interactive series — 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.
As Polygon notes in its article, Hennig’s past statements on interactivity could very well hint at the type of experiences her Skydance team may produce. During a DICE 2019 talk with Double Fine founder Tim Schafer, Hennig speculated on how the rise of streaming TV, film, and music may eventually translate to gaming. If such experiences were easily accessible, might more folks be willing to give video games a chance?
During the DICE talk, she additionally addressed the appeal of titles such as Uncharted and Until Dawn, which “are just as watchable as they are playable.” Hennig continued, “and I don’t mean like Twitch streaming or a YouTube playthrough. I mean [it’s] just as entertaining to be in the living room [with] someone [who] is playing. And it’s not that the rest of the people are there as passive observers, they’re collaborators.”
The latter comment seems to align with the Until Dawn team’s approach to its latest project, The Dark Pictures Anthology, whereby multiple people in a room take part in the narrative experience. Could Beak’s and Hennig’s team produce something of a similar flavor? For now, all anyone can do is guess.
[Source: Skydance Media via Polygon]