What just happened? A couple of former CD Projekt Red executives have formed a new studio based in Nova Scotia, Canada, called Rebel Wolves. The founders, Konrad Tomaszkiewicz and Jakub Szamałek, both worked on The Witcher 3 and Cyberpunk 2077 when still at CDPR.
Tomaszkiewicz directed The Witcher 3 and served multiple roles during Cyberpunk's development, including vice president of game development, secondary game director, and head of production. Tomaszkiewicz left CDPR under allegations that he bullied coworkers. He was later found not guilty but had already begun working at the Warsaw Film School. He will act as the new studio's CEO and Game Director.
Szamałek was the principal writer on CP 2077 and senior writer on most of The Witcher 3's DLC. He will serve Rebel Wolves as the Narrative Director. He left CDPR around the same time as Tomaszkiewicz and in the interim worked as a narrative consultant and freelance video game writer.
Ten other video game vets joined Rebel Wolves, including developers who worked on Shadow Warrior 2 and Thronebreaker. The studio wants to expand to about 80 staff members, but Tomaszkiewicz told GamesIndustry he wishes to keep the company relatively small, focused, and driven.
"So we're extremely happy and proud that we've already managed to sign on some of the best artists, coders, and designers in the industry," Tomaszkiewicz said. "We can't compete with the top dogs when it comes to size or recognition, but we can provide something just as alluring: an environment where developers can think big, follow their dreams and feel ownership over their work."
Tomaszkiewicz didn't have much to say about the studio's first project. All we know is that it will be a "dark fantasy RPG." He said the vision is to design a video game world that feels like a pen-and-paper RPG.
"We want to recreate the feeling of a pen and paper RPG session, where your options seem limitless, where the world reacts to your choices, where every decision matters," he said. "[We want to make] the holy grail of computer RPGs."
The company also wants to avoid the complications of licensing existing franchises like CDPR did with The Witcher series and Cyberpunk 2077. So we know the IP will be something original. It could be quite some time before we hear anything more, but Tomaszkiewicz promises Rebel Wolves will be just as, if not more, transparent than CD Projekt Red.