CD Projekt Red veterans launch new studio and create dark fantasy RPG

Veterans CD Projekt Red (CDPR) are launching a new studio called Rebel Wolves, and they shared the first details of the new venture on Wednesday. CDPR Fans The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt might be pleased to hear that Rebel Wolves’ first game looks like a spiritual successor to the hit title.

In an email to The edgeco-founder Konrad Tomaszkiewicz described it as “a story-driven, open-world AAA RPG”, and it’s based on a new franchise from Rebel Wolves co-founder and narrative director Jakub Szamałek, which has also worked on The Witcher 3 and Cyberpunk 2077. “Overall, the game will have a similar scope to the blood and wine expansion for The Witcher 3 but will be much more non-linear,” Tomaszkiewicz said. Rebel Wolves plans to release it on PC, PS5, and Xbox Series X/S.

The rebel wolves are one of many recent studios that were recently founded by industry veterans – Jade Raymond’s Haven and former BioWare CEO Casey Hudson’s Humanoid Studios are just two examples. However, Rebel Wolves is still in its early stages – Tomaszkiewicz said the studio is aiming for a 2025 release date for that first game – and the company said in a press release that it will be hiring to fill roles “in coming months”. The goal is to “create a medium-sized studio with a cap of around 80 people,” Tomaszkiewicz said. He is funding Rebel Wolves “by myself” and the studio is “looking for business partners for this trip”.

Tomaszkiewicz, who was also Cyberpunk 2077 production manager and his secondary game director, quit CDPR in May, where he was accused of bullying co-workers, Bloomberg reported. The CDPR had investigated the allegations against Tomaszkiewicz and, in a message seen by Bloomberg, he said a commission found him not guilty. CDPR as a whole has come under scrutiny for its treatment of workers, especially after it broke a promise and demanded a tightening Cyberpunk 2077, which was still not enough to prevent the disastrous launch of the game.

CDPR has since announced a restructuring to change the way it makes games and has pledged to improve working conditions, and Rebel Wolves similarly promotes a healthier team environment. According to its press release, the studio is “unified by the mission to put the team first – always.”

Tomaszkiewicz gave more details in his email to The edge. “We want to create a place where people support each other and help each other grow, where every voice counts,” he said. “In our studio, key decisions will be made transparently, and each developer will have meaningful influence on the game, instead of just executing the vision of some mythical manager they’ve never even spoken to.”

Tomaszkiewicz also touched on the crunch, and while he doesn’t explicitly commit to never doing it, it seems he wants to avoid it as much as possible. “I think with good planning and good scope, you can make great games without [crunch],” he said. “[At] Rebel Wolves, management will be working in the trenches, alongside other developers, and it is in our collective interest to ensure that we maintain a good work/life balance. Creating games is a challenge, but it should also be fun, not something that exhausts you.

Jack L. Goldstein