Stories from developers and other sources paint a dire picture of Techland.
After the first Dying Light and its success, the sequel was looking like a great follow up to the zombie action game. It looked and sounded great, and the developer behind it was largely saying a lot of good stuff. But the game has now been delayed indefinitely and there’s been some troubling signs that something is amiss. Now a new report has come forward with lots of allegations about woes at the developer.
In a report from The Gamer, there is many quotes from previous workers as well as alleged anonymous workers at the company now. It’s pretty much impossible to sum up the entirety of everything, but most of the issues are said to center around CEO Pawel Marchewka and other leaders of the company and how they have created a toxic environment with overly harsh feedback. It also doesn’t help that the head of HR for the developer is apparently Marchewka’s wife.
According to sources, that’s only part of the problem as Marchewka and other upper management have often clashed with high profile hires, who are then isolated and essentially pushed out of the process to eventually quit. Apparently, this has already happened several times, and has lead to low morale and big setbacks.
“Techland has a history of hiring people for which the team had ‘high hopes’, but it ended up in nothing,” a source said. “One such case for the designers was the hiring of Marc Albinet, a former game director from Ubisoft, that was supposed to restructure how design is done in the studio. Even he, a veteran with 30 years of experience, couldn’t break through upper management that is harder to change than the spin of the f***ing Earth.
“Whenever an expert starts advising things that are not aligned with the board’s agenda, they slowly get isolated from the project and responsibilities,” another source elaborated. “That leads to them leaving or eventually getting fired. To make a career at Techland, you have to be subservient.”
This has also apparently lead to the game itself being in a very bad state. Despite teasing last month that news would be coming, according to these sources, Techland “have no idea what the final game will be, or what the story is. It’s changed so much. People kept quitting, getting fired.”
It’s worth noting that Marchewka responses throughout the piece, either disputing the allegations or downplaying them, such as the idea that he is laser focused on what CD Projekt RED is doing (another Polish studio) and surpassing them by stating, “It’s natural that I pay attention to what others in our industry are doing, so when talking about examples of high-quality solutions, I often refer to CD Projekt Red.”
This isn’t the first report about Dying Light 2‘s development apparently being in disarray, as last year a similar story came out that basically painted a huge conflict between the game’s then Writer and Creative Director, though nothing to this extent, and both of those individuals are now gone.
The report is worth a read in full, so I encourage you to read through the whole thing. Much like any of these reports, you do also have to take it with a grain of salt, but considering the amount of reporting of this similar nature plus the game disappearing off the map, it doesn’t seem far-fetched that something has gone wrong behind the scenes.