The query “Where is Dying Light 2?” has been on many minds because the indefinite delay announcement again in January 2020, and now that very same query is again following stories concerning the tradition inside Techland and a scarcity of course for the choice-heavy sequel.
In a report from The Gamer, Kirk McKeand spoke with quite a few builders at Techland to gauge the place the studio is at relating to the extremely anticipated launch of Dying Light 2. What he discovered as a substitute was disheartening image together with a lack of management, a scarcity of course, and a demoralizing environment. One developer even advised the positioning that “the fish rots from the head” when discussing the extra poisonous points of the studio and its management.
With feedback from 10 present and former members of the studio, the report reveals how administration took an abusive tone, together with using a homophobic slur when providing suggestions. In the report, CEO Pawel Marchewka says the findings of The Gamer’s investigation is an “important issue” when trying on the communication points the corporate is at present aiming to enhance. The CEO responded saying that the job of the crew is to “invent and iterate” and that this purpose has usually prompted clashes with members of the crew with differing opinions on improvement development. “When we’re in the inventing phase, we have lively discussions with each other,” he stated. “Therefore, I can imagine that in a tightly-knight team such words could have been said. Nevertheless, this is not our standard and those phrases do not meet our criteria in any way. We always remind our employees to make sure they communicate properly.”
While this sounds good, the report continues on to point out that the aforementioned suggestions is much from a one-off occasion, as a substitute one thing way more commonplace than the CEO represented in his response. One instance pertains to a gathering concerning the course of Dying Light and the way it touches on tones likened to “modern dark ages.” During this assembly, one supply tells The Gamer that one lead dev responded to this era likening by saying “At least they knew how to deal with women back then.” Marchewka responded to this incident as properly, saying that the response was inappropriate and that this developer reported to Human Resources nearly instantly. “We have a strong representation of women at Techland,” he stated. “We want them to feel supported at all times.”
Women led notoriously horrible lives throughout this time interval, removed from the light-hearted fairy tales many fictional tales like to color. While ladies throughout this time had been anticipated to work like their male counterparts (which is honest), they had been paid far lower than males and the roles obtainable had been far more restrictive. While there have been ladies in the Aristocracy, that was not the usual residence life for the typical girl throughout this age. In reality, there have been many legal guidelines towards ladies particularly, together with little freedom as an individual in their very own proper, which you’ll be taught extra about here.
But even this may very well be thought of an remoted incident, which prompted the positioning to maintain digging. Some of the staff that The Gamer spoke with talked about a portray that the CEO hangs in his workplace, a portray that he himself stated that if it is making folks uncomfortable he’ll take down instantly. The portray in query is of a lady mendacity bare with a cheetah, a wildlife fixture by the artist David Yarrow (a person recognized for his conservationist work). “I find him one of the best if not the best wildlife photographer. That’s why I hung it in my office. But I want to make sure I set the right example so if any of our employees, anonymously, report that they feel uncomfortable with it I will remove it immediately.”
It appears in his response that the CEO is prepared to make modifications essential, however the report goes on to disclose that the top of HR is his spouse, which might make complaints about him to her compromised in a method that many workers have expressed feels uncomfortable. His spouse, Aleksandra Marchewka, did not start her time at Techland as HR, as a substitute she started her journey within the firm working as an inside designer for Techland’s increasing workplaces. Despite no prior Human Relations historical past in her resume, she was promoted to performing chief HR officer in February 2020. When requested if the CEO thought this may very well be a battle of curiosity — which it inherently is and why many corporations disavow this kind of hiring practices — he stated, “No, I don’t. My wife is a professional and we have a professional relationship at work.”
The difficulty right here shouldn’t be who she is as an individual. Many of the staff at Techland have stated that she’s a really approachable and pleasant face on the workplace, however there’ll at all times be a bias regarding her husband, particularly regarding extra delicate stories that some builders are holding again out of concern of retaliation. It was additionally reported that many would use her relationship to her husband to their benefit by promoting her on an concept for her to cross alongside to the CEO.
His spouse is not the one shut tie that Marchewka has underneath his make use of; his sister can be in an govt place as the top of worldwide gross sales. Nepotism is taking part in a big position right here which in itself is worrisome, but additionally blocks certified personnel on the firm from any potential position modifications which might be already occupied by household.
Speaking again to the communication points, apparently, there have been some controversial advertising and marketing concepts thrown on the market that prompted concern for a number of the crew. One was to drive an unmarked van in actual life to the boarder of Mexico and drop off a pile of physique baggage to spark headlines. The plan was to later reveal that this transfer was a advertising and marketing device for Dying Light 2, relating it again to the story itself.
Another controversial advertising and marketing pitch surrounding issues over illness revelations (a transfer made much more controversial contemplating the continuing pandemic). In this pitch, the plan was to ship medical check kits at random and have these check despatched again in solely to disclose that they’ve contracted a fictional illness (the illness seen in-game). The downside right here, nonetheless, is that these had been precise medical kits getting used and that real-life ailments may very well be detected, which was an moral difficulty that not everybody was onboard with.
The crew additionally tinkered with the concept to work with the United Nations to create a video the place a UN spokesperson would spark panic by detailing an occasion the place folks had been “scrambling to survive” in a battle for water. Since this can be a very actual difficulty in lots of areas world wide, together with the United States, the dialog round this transfer was additionally underneath heavy scrutiny.
The CEO responded to those stories of selling concepts saying that they had been merely a small half of a bigger “creative brainstorming session.” According to him, no concept is just too outlandish throughout the ideation part, which is honest on condition that this kind of spitballing clearly defines what is just too far and helps to maintain brainstorming again on monitor in a extra applicable method.
When Lukasz Janas joined Techland in 2020 as inventive director from his earlier position at Kinguine, an organization that runs equally to G2A as a PC reseller, it’s reported that the general angle in the direction of his arrival was constructive. Unfortunately, that hope in his affect was rapidly squandered when it grew to become obvious that, in keeping with the sources that opened up about their time there, he didn’t have the expertise wanted for this job, which furthered muddied the waters of communication and clear course.
According to at least one developer at Techland, “There is this general consensus in Techland that marketing is not doing much and seems incompetent.” The CEO, in flip, responded that the make use of of Janas was a step made to right that feeling of incompetence and that his inclusion has been a constructive affect on bringing “new solutions” to the studio as a complete. According to the sources that spoke out, his addition to the crew is extensively seen as an enormous obstacle to the general goal as the corporate works in the direction of the launch of Dying Light 2.
“The fish rots at the head”
The Gamer report particulars Marchewka’s need to work with the “best of the best,” a purpose not in contrast to many in any business. Unfortunately, Techland has an extremely excessive turnover relating to workers, a price that has continued to extend over the previous yr. “Techland has a history of hiring people for which the team had ‘high hopes’, but it ended up in nothing,” stated one insider. “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 fucking Earth.”
The lack of a transparent imaginative and prescient, folks in roles they aren’t certified for advising new instructions to enter, and the misalignment between the core workers and the board at giant has wrecked havok on the infrastructure of Techland. In reality, some have come ahead to say that if somebody’s imaginative and prescient would not align with the board, that these folks had been then remoted from the undertaking as a complete and their core duties, which inevitably led to both them getting fired or leaving to hunt higher alternatives.
Marchewka, nonetheless, says that this excessive turnover price is totally regular for a AAA studio and is nothing to fret about. While turnover is an anticipated a part of any studio, a always escalating variety of folks departing shouldn’t be, particularly if the notion is that many of those departures are attributable to poor management and mismanagement. That notion has solely grown over this final yr with one supply even saying that the CEO trusts outsiders greater than he trusts his personal workers, usually trying outdoors of the corporate to weigh in on main points of the event course of.
The image being painted is that lots of these in govt positions had been both not certified or not educated in working in a crew setting. This was some extent hammered residence when taking about chief improvement officer Pawel Zawodny, who was promoted from a software program developer inside the firm to usher in a extra conventional improvement construction to make the workflow simpler. Zawodny reportedly wished to offer devs an opportunity to create their work in established engines corresponding to Unity and Unreal, one thing that Marchewksa was very a lot towards with is need to make use of Techland’s personal engine. According to numerous sources that opened up about this, they wished to go within the course Zawodny was attempting to guide them and that the refusal to budge from Marchewka prompted immense frustration.
“He would ask why people aren’t working faster and it was because the tech isn’t up to speed,” said one employee when talking about the frustration surrounding the CEO’s firm stance. “We can work faster, but we have to go here, and you’re not allowing us to go there. The experts know what the goal is, and they should be allowed the flexibility to do what’s best.”
The CEO, after all, had a rebuttal saying that Techland has its personal method of approaching recreation manufacturing and that they’ve tailored accordingly. Unfortunately, an excellent portion fo the workers really feel the alternative, saying that there isn’t a adaptation occurring and that that is slowing down efforts to some extent the place everybody concerned is worried. A contributing issue to this as properly is that the CEO usually tries to be instantly concerned with each single milestone test assembly. On paper, this sounds good, however delegation is there for a cause and that have to be concerned at each nook leads to a slowed timeline and concepts not totally fashioned being shut down and blocked earlier than they will see fruition.
Despite Marchewska’s reward of Zawodny and their course of working collectively, Zawodny did ultimately go away Techland to begin up his personal studio, a studio referred to as Strange New Things that was ultimately acquired by Cyberpunk 2077 devs CD Projekt Red. “After decades of creating titles that were dictated by so-called market demand, [we] all reached a point when we decided to do something different – something that comes from ‘us’,” Zawodny mentioned at the time of his departure. “We also felt that the way the industry giants work is outdated. We want to adapt to a new way of working and fostering teamwork – an evolutionary approach described as Teal – where there are no predefined hierarchies or roles. It’s time that we change the industry from the inside.”
Too many cooks within the kitchen
A frequent complain amongst everybody The Gamer talked to is that each single designer, each single developer, might weigh in on each side of improvement, together with producers that will shut down concepts that they weren’t accustomed to or outfitted to know. Because of this, there have been too many individuals always designing and redesigning points of the sport with no actual cohesion relating to what these modifications would imply on a much bigger scale.
The stories continued to point out the disconnect with the “new” and “old” groups when new members could be introduced in and would instantly see the chaos that the “too many chefs in the kitchen” mentality wrought. When these newcomers would communicate out concerning the issues that they had, they had been instantly “out the door,” in keeping with one supply.
From a removing of people who labored on Dying Light 2 at its core as soon as they’ve departed to working with to a rising toxicity inside the firm’s pool of individuals (as seen with the sexual misconduct allegation regarding writer Chris Avellone), it grew to become rapidly obvious how Dying Light 2 has discovered itself ready of uncertainty.
Lack of cohesion, lack of clear management and the honoring of position delegation, a lack of understanding, and a refusal to adapt outdoors of the “way it’s always been done” all play a contributing position to the stories gathered concerning the firm. To learn much more concerning the state of Dying Light 2 and Techland, together with quite a few accounts from inside sources, you may try the total story proper here.
[Source: The Gamer]