Dying Light 2 development hampered by alleged studio turbulence

A damning report on the state of studio culture at Polish developer Techland has revealed a number of issues affecting the creation of Dying Light 2. The situation, stemming from what the relationship alleges is a bullish and autocratic level of senior management, has resulted in numerous staff members dropping out of the project and study. The report, published by The Gamer, compiles a series of testimonials from anonymous sources who currently work or have been employed by Techland. Among the many accusations, it appears that the company’s management is having a negative effect on both the morale and workflow of its employees, thereby, in turn, complicating and slowing the development of Dying Light 2. Apparently, at least 20 employees have left Techland in the last two months.Much of the problem appears to be due to tough demands and feedback provided by top management, led by the company’s chief executive, Pawel Marchewka. He and his managers allegedly refute the advice of the studio’s own experts, insisting that the team use ideas found in other games rather than creating their own.

“Every time an expert starts advising on things that are not aligned with the board’s agenda, they slowly isolate themselves from the project and responsibilities,” a source told The Gamer. “That leads to them leaving or eventually being fired. To make a career at Techland, you have to be subordinate. “

Apparently Marc Albinet, a 30-year industry veteran previously at Ubisoft, was hired to restructure the studio’s design process, but was ultimately unable to convince management of a new structure. Similarly, veteran Techland employee Paweł Zawodny apparently wanted to try to ease the workflow by replacing Techland procedures with a more traditional development line, using Unreal or Unity. He was denied, which allegedly led to a fight between Zawodny and Marchewka. Zawodny then left the studio.

“Trust and the flow of ideas in a large organization is a complex issue,” Marchewka told The Gamer in response to the allegations. “After all, you can trust someone, but not agree with their idea, because it is not, for example, the right time to implement it or it does not fit with the specific project.”

Another issue that the studio staff apparently faces is Marchewka’s demands that the game’s features be based on existing games. “One of their super strict rules for design is that ‘an idea cannot be implemented if it doesn’t have an existing reference from another game,'” said a source. Apparently, Marchewka is “infatuated” with CD Projekt Red.

Such demand means that staff feel creatively stifled. “If you have game references that Marchewka doesn’t know about, you may not have any references, and anything slightly innovative or expensive is [off] the table immediately, “said a source.

Dying Light 2 E3 Trailer Screenshots

The rejection of ideas can apparently be presented in an offensive manner, with reports from members of the management team using homophobic and course language in feedback. One source explained that such treatment makes you feel like “you don’t know shit.”

This study environment has meant that many employees have left the company. In particular, the story of Dying Light 2 is currently being worked on by the sixth iteration of the narrative team. The constant change of writers, one of whom was Chris Avellone, who parted ways with the company on allegations of sexual harassment rather than studio problems, has meant that the story is apparently a “Frankenstein monster” of united ideas of different equipment.

One source said they “have no idea what the end game will be or what the story is. It has changed a lot. People kept quitting, getting fired. “

In response to the problem of high staff turnover, Marchewka told The Gamer: “Making games is difficult and it is normal that sometimes it is necessary to change the workplace and seek new challenges. I am very sorry that some of our employees left us and decided to leave the Techland structures, but I always wish them well ”.

Regarding the demands of the idea direction of other games, he said: “It is natural that I pay attention to what others in our industry are doing, so when I talk about examples of high-quality solutions, I often mean CD Projekt Red. I point out that it is also a Polish company, so certainly our origins and roots should not be an excuse.

Dying Light 2 currently has no release date after being pushed back to January 2020. No significant news about the game has come out from Techland since the announcement, which means our last proper look at the game was the comment from the Dying developer. Light 2 in 2019..

Matt Purslow is the UK news and entertainment writer for IGN.

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