A group of former CD Projekt Red folks have formed a new studio, announcing plans to make their own "AAA" "story-driven" "dark fantasy RPG". The studio are named Rebel Wolves, and they're founded by Konrad Tomaszkiewicz, who was director of The Witcher 3 and secondary game director on Cyberpunk 2077. Their RPG is largely a mystery for now, though a wee bit of artwork suggests at least one vampire is involved?
Konrad Tomaszkiewicz is CEO and game director at Rebel Wolves. He's joined by folks including design director Daniel Sadowski (a programmer on The Witcher 1), narrative director and main writer Jakub Szamałek (a writer on The Witcher 3, and principal writer on Cyberpunk 2077 and Thronebreaker), animation director Tamara Zawada (animator across the Witcher series, and co-lead animator on Shadow Warrior 2), and art director Bartłomiej Gaweł (concept artist across the Witcher and Gwent games).
Their unnamed "dark fantasy RPG" is largely a mystery. They say they're planning for it to be first in a "saga". Their website talks broadly about the importance of "meaty, dynamic gameplay systems" which are easy to understand but offer scope to master, and the freedom to solve problems multiple ways. They say they're making it in Unreal Engine 5 for PC and next-gen consoles. And they shared one piece of concept art ⟶ which looks like a spear-wielding vampire ambushing guardsmen (and a guardsmonster). That's about yer lot. My initial guess would be we play some sort of scrappy vampire outsider? Maybe fighting against a lordly dracula? Broadest strokes, vaguest impressions. What sort of game does that art make you imagine, reader dear?
"In order to create truly great games, we won't chase trends or numbers," narrative director Szamałek said in today's announcement. "Our goal is clearly defined: to create memorable games, tell moving stories, and evoke visceral emotions. It's ambitious, true - and I'm glad it is. Art needs ambition. I don't want to create another game. I want to work on titles people will remember."
I can't believe he said all those adjectives yet missed "specdracula". Some writer!
Rebel Wolves are based in Warsaw, Poland with remote workers too. The Rebel Wolves website has a wee bit more info on the team and their goals for the game.
"We decided to create our own studio and run it on our own terms," the studio say. "Chief among them: the team comes first, always. Happy people make great games – games players want and deserve. Yes, it's as simple as that."
It's hard to read that and not remember how CD Projekt Red went against their professed beliefs by making employees crunch on Cyberpunk 2077, a game which falls short of "great".