CD PROJEKT RED, home of the critically acclaimed Witcher series and highly anticipated Cyberpunk 2077, will soon be looking for a new Creative Director, as Sebastian Stepien has recently left the company to join Blizzard Entertainment.
As first discovered by ResetEra user Gerwant, the longtime employee of the Polish gaming company had recently updated his LinkedIn profile to reflect the change in employers. Most recently credited as Narrative and Setting Director, Stepien also served as Creative Director on CD PROJEKT RED’s projects since early 2013. His time at the company spanned over 12 and a half years.
While employment changes like this aren’t necessarily uncommon in the gaming industry, it does raise some eyebrows on a few aspects. Normally, in a situation like this, when an employee on the development side of the project leave, it likely because their obligation to the project has wrapped. In this case though, Stepien was credited as Creative Director on Cyberpunk 2077. Many industry members, analysts and commentators believe the upcoming open world, futuristic RPG is still a few years off, but given the change in leadership, it may signal the game is a bit further along than some may this. With the game being in a playable state, and a lengthy demo shown to public, this may signal the game is already in or close to a beta build. At the same time, this speculation could be off but it does raise a flag of interest towards the Polish gaming entity.
With all of the negative press surrounding Blizzard over the past few months, this seems to be a great get for the PC-centered gaming giant. While nothing has been announced on what the project could be that Stepien was hired on to oversee with Blizzard, it will be interesting to see the fallout on both sides of the spectrum for each entity.
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This past June at E3 2018, fans and media were given a peak behind the curtain on what exactly Polish publisher/developer CD Projekt Red has been working on post-Witcher III; which ended up being the long-rumored CyberPunk 2077. While the footage that was shown was insinuated to be that of an alpha-build, CD Projekt Red revealed to the media and fans respectively quite a bit of footage, which timed out at around 48 minutes. Being so well received from the majority that viewed, many are hoping to see more of the gritty open world, futuristic RPG in the near future, with the Game Awards 2018 being a possible destination. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like the game will be in attendance at the upcoming event.
In a tweet released by Marcin Momot, community manager for CD Projekt Red, he confirmed that Cyberpunk 2077 will not be showing any new footage at the awards ceremony this coming Thursday. “We’re looking forward to seeing all the reveals and announcements during this year’s Game Awards, however we’re not going to be showing anything there ourselves” confirmed Momot. “We’ll share more details about CyberPunk 2077 when we’re ready.”
CD Projekt Red, who are responsible for the Witcher series, have received acclaim from critics and fans alike for the depth and detail found in their vast open world experiences; specifically found in the Witcher trilogy. 2015’s edition of the Game Awards saw CD Projekt Red take home the title of Game of the Year for the third entry in the Witcher series, the Witcher III: Wild Hunt. Since then, they have produced multiple expansions for the title, along with a spinoff card game based on the one of the same name found in 2015’s entry, titled Gwent: the Witcher Card Game.
While fans will surely be disappointed to hear the news of CD Projekt Red’s absence at this year’s Game Awards, they can be assured that development of Cyberpunk 2077 is progressing well and more news will inevitably be coming on the approaching horizon.
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