Interested in learning what's next for the gaming industry? Join gaming executives to discuss emerging parts of the industry this October at GamesBeat Summit Next. Register today.


Former developers of Cyberpunk 2077 and The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt have banded together to create a new game studio called Rebel Wolves.

The Warsaw, Poland-based company is working on a dark fantasy role-playing game built in Unreal Engine 5.

Konrad Tomaszkiewicz was the game director of The Witcher 3 and head of production and secondary game director of Cyberpunk 2077. He has assembled a new pack at the self-funded Rebel Wolves to create vibrant new virtual worlds. The team has more than a dozen people.

Their aim is to make games filled with powerful emotions and unique experiences. The goal is to do things differently and put the team first, the company said. That says a lot between the lines, as the team that made Cyberpunk 2077 at game publisher CD Projekt Red had a lot of challenges with overwork and being forced to push a game out before the bugs were fixed.

Event

GamesBeat Summit Next 2022

Join gaming leaders live this October 25-26 in San Francisco to examine the next big opportunities within the gaming industry.

Register Here

“For all of us here at Rebel Wolves, video games were always something we felt destined to do — something ingrained in our DNA,” Tomaszkiewicz said in a statement. “Personally, I couldn’t be happier to have banded together with friends who share this passion. We’re developing a video game we’d like to play in a way that games should be made. We want to evolve the cRPG genre by creating unforgettable stories and stirring deep emotions, all while working as a tightly knit team united by a shared goal and ambition.”

He added, “Collectively, we envision Rebel Wolves as a place where experienced game developers can reignite their passion, where they can focus on their craft and pour their love into an amazing, ambitious title. We want to stay small and agile — a place where people know and care for each other.”

Konrad Tomaszkiewicz is a cofounder of Rebel Wolves.

The company said it has aspirations of breaking away from the weight of triple-A development studios and approaching every goal as a team. A lone wolf may be powerful, but true strength lies in the pack. In the coming months, Rebel Wolves will be hiring to fill various roles at the studio, both in-house and remote, and you can reach out to office@rebel-wolves.com for more information.

I asked why Tomaszkiewicz decided to leave CD Projekt Red.

“Let us start by saying that we’re very proud of our past in CDPR and we’re grateful for all the amazing opportunities it offered us. It’s a great company and we wish them all the best,” Tomaszkiewicz said. “So why did we leave? Because by going independent, we gained the freedom to chase our dreams. CDPR works with established IPs, and we wanted to create our own universe, tailored to our preferences and needs. We simply felt that we needed a separate space to do so.”

I noted that Cyberpunk 2077 came out with a lot of bugs and it was pretty controversial. I asked if he and the team had learned something from that.

“We feel it isn’t our place to offer a post-mortem of Cyberpunk 2077,” he said. “Even though we played an important role in developing this tremendously ambitious game, ultimately it’s a CD Projekt Red title and we want to respect that. Have we learned from it? Of course. Each project is different, each offers a chance to learn and to improve.”

The team of industry veterans has worked on projects such as The Witcher Series, Cyberpunk 2077, Thronebreaker, and Shadow Warrior 2. The company said the studio will be built on a foundation of fairness, teamwork, and openness.

The hope is to revolutionize the RPG genre with the first game, which will be part of a larger dark fantasy saga.

“In order to create truly great games, we won’t chase trends or numbers,” said Jakub Szamatek (Witcher 3, Cyberpunk 2077, Thronebreaker), narrative director and main writer, in a statement. “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.”

Animation director Tamara Zawada

Others on the team include design director Daniel Sadowski, animation director Tamara Zawada (Witcher 3, Shadow Warrior 2, Capcom Vancouver), art director Bartlmiej Gawel (Witcher 1-3), chief financial officer Michal Boryka, and studio head Robert Murzynowski.

In response to a query of what the team wants to accomplish, Tomaszkiewicz said, “We want our games to be laser-focused on what’s important. We believe that video games are a great medium for telling stories – and that’s our goal, to spin engaging, non-linear tales, where the player’s agency and immersion are at the forefront.”

He added, “To achieve this goal, we can’t bite off more than we can chew. So we don’t want to take part in the bidding war, promising our game to be 200, 300 or 400 hours to complete, or 2, 5, 10 times bigger than the latest blockbuster. Instead, we want to put emphasis on quality. Each quest, each dialogue will be hand-crafted with great care, in order to deliver the best possible experience, something you will think back on long after the credits roll.”

He noted the collective experience is broader than just CD Projekt Red.

“We have people who worked on AAA projects at other companies as well as on indie games, people who worked on RPGs as well as on sims and shooters,” Tomaszkiewicz said. “Overall, our team is very experienced and accomplished – but we’re hungry for more. We want to experiment, blaze new trails, evolve the medium. For us, making video games isn’t just a profession — it’s a calling. There’s nothing else we’d rather be doing.”

I also asked if they would raise money, considering the boom in game venture capital investments.

“We’re still talking to potential business partners — there’s a lot of interest and we already have some great offers on the table,” he said. “But we can afford to take time to make this decision, because we’re not cash strapped. We’re self-funded and have enough means to get the ball rolling. We’re playing the long game and want to make sure we commit ourselves to the right partner, someone who shares our passion for video games and puts ambition and quality at the forefront.”

GamesBeat's creed when covering the game industry is "where passion meets business." What does this mean? We want to tell you how the news matters to you -- not just as a decision-maker at a game studio, but also as a fan of games. Whether you read our articles, listen to our podcasts, or watch our videos, GamesBeat will help you learn about the industry and enjoy engaging with it. Learn more about membership.