Dying Light 2 was one of the most ambitious titles coming out this year, but it was unfortunately delayed indefinitely near the beginning of the year. While delays happen, and god knows they happened a lot at the start of this terrible year, it seems that the delay could be the symptom of something gone array behind the scenes. An article from a Polish site paints such a picture, though it is definitely a messy story.
Polskigamedev posted an explosive exposé that painted the behind the scenes at Techland as a messy one, and the development of Dying Light 2 in bad shape. The piece posts alleged interviews from several anonymous employees saying that a large part of the conflict comes down to Writer Chris Avellone and Creative Director Adrian Ciszewski, both of who have different ideas of what the game should be. Avellone wants to create more of a grand RPG ala Fallout, where as Ciszewski wants to create something more in line with the original Dying Light only bigger in scope. The article paints a picture of a game being constantly torn between those two elements, with major parts of the game being retooled constantly, leading to a stressful development that has hampered the game’s progress significantly with some feeling it impossible it will be ready by the end of 2020.
Now, it is worth mentioning here that when the story first broke, a lot of the translations came from Google translate as well as Twitter user Lotte May (of which you can see the full Twitter thread through here, and a select amount below). Wccftech reached out to Techland about the article and did get a response. While they did not outright deny the article’s content, they did say that it needed to be clear this was from the opinions of various people, including known employees and unnamed anonymous sources. They say they will ‘analyze’ the contents, but did claim they are running by their own internal development schedule.
“At Techland, we work as a team and we grow as a team. We are proud that many of our employees have chosen to be with us for years.
“The mentioned article contains various opinions – from both our employees and anonymous sources. Each opinion matters to us, so we are now carefully analyzing all the topics raised. When it comes to Dying Light 2 – development is moving forward according to our internal schedule we revised at the beginning of the year.”
Due to the language barrier and all of the people involved, it definitely is a messy, messy story. Unfortunately, even with the comment from Techland, things are not looking good for Dying Light 2 at the moment.
"theres lack of organization in high leadership. some teams are worried if they can fix all the bugs one year before release — we dont even have a vertical slice!"— Lotte 'just an idiot' May 💖🍓🌈🐹🎮☕🍫🍩 (@LotteMakesStuff) May 6, 2020
Leadership has apparently interfered! "Story won't be good, everything looks to be pretty scripted. Bring this, talk to him, kill here and there. Depth has all but disappeared from Chris' work. He wanted the game to be empathetic, psychologically extensive and multifaceted."— Lotte 'just an idiot' May 💖🍓🌈🐹🎮☕🍫🍩 (@LotteMakesStuff) May 6, 2020
"Because of conflicts with creative lead Pyza, people are getting fired or leaving the company. Ive heard him yelling at people who pre-produced Dead Island, calling them morons. Even when there was no crunch he called people at 9-10pm cause hes a workaholic and demanded so much"— Lotte 'just an idiot' May 💖🍓🌈🐹🎮☕🍫🍩 (@LotteMakesStuff) May 6, 2020
A Polish business investment report reveals that employee turnover for game devs on average is 15% over year. Most of these are between projects, but for Techland 50 people have already left because of toxic atmosphere and bad leadership.— Lotte 'just an idiot' May 💖🍓🌈🐹🎮☕🍫🍩 (@LotteMakesStuff) May 6, 2020
someone in design confirms player movement is ready and working but the devil lives in the detail – "but the game is torn apart and the fundamentals are changing all the time"— Lotte 'just an idiot' May 💖🍓🌈🐹🎮☕🍫🍩 (@LotteMakesStuff) May 6, 2020
"we had 5-6-7 vertical slices of the game and none of them are representative of what we have now, the game is changing all the time and nobody is able to say its good enough"— Lotte 'just an idiot' May 💖🍓🌈🐹🎮☕🍫🍩 (@LotteMakesStuff) May 6, 2020
"Thanks to him we have parkour, night and day activities and chase sequences. Most of the ideas in Dying Light, are either his or employees which he affirmed."— Lotte 'just an idiot' May 💖🍓🌈🐹🎮☕🍫🍩 (@LotteMakesStuff) May 6, 2020
Techland's PR responded to article "We have vertical slice. We have created it 4 years ago and you can still play it. Vision was created before we even started production. Thanks to Adrian, lead writer Pawel and later Chris. It hasn't changed since"— Lotte 'just an idiot' May 💖🍓🌈🐹🎮☕🍫🍩 (@LotteMakesStuff) May 6, 2020
"We are iterating on Dying Light 2 all the time. But that's just how the games are made" [end of article]— Lotte 'just an idiot' May 💖🍓🌈🐹🎮☕🍫🍩 (@LotteMakesStuff) May 6, 2020