Sebastian Stępień, a creative director that worked on several CD Projekt Red titles, including the upcoming Cyberpunk 2077, has left the company in order to join Blizzard, spurring discussion and theorycrafting among fans in the process.
According to his , Stępień worked for CD Projekt Red for just over 12 years. He started off as a junior dialogue writer, which would change to specialist and eventually senior dialogue writer during the first three and a half years of his stay at CD Projekt Red.
Stępień was promoted to lead story designer afterwards, after which he kept climbing ranks, reaching the creative director position and eventually ended up as a narrative and setting director in the company. It appears that he spent most of his time as a creative director while working on The Witcher 3 and narrative and setting director while working on Cyberpunk 2077.
Considering that Cyberpunk 2077 was reportedly playable from start to finish back in August 2018, it is quite possible that Stępień's work on the game is largely finished as narrative and setting are core parts of gameplay in an RPG. With the polishing phase in progress, Stępień's departure shouldn't affect the game too much.
By switching to Blizzard, Stępień went back to his role as a creative director, but it is currently unknown which project he might be working on. People are mostly commenting on Stępień's decision as being odd, due to Activision Blizzard's stock being a hot mess right now and the company under fire by fans due to egregious monetisation practices. Others simply referred to Stępień moving from Poland to California as a major change.
CD Project Red
There are currently no official statements from either Blizzard or CD Projekt Red regarding Stępień's switch, but one thing is sure - a person doesn't just leave a company after almost 13 years of working there unless they have a good reason. Whatever turns out to be the case, let's hope Stępień's experience helps shape Blizzard's future games back into the highly polished products that the company initially became known and loved for.