Andrzej Zawadzki, who served as senior game designer on the recently released Cyberpunk 2077, has officially announced that he is leaving CD Projekt RED. His Tweet sharing the news did not reveal what he plans to do next, but did state that he was planning "a new adventure". He also thanked CD Projekt for a positive experience during the nearly 8 years he spent with the company:
After almost 8 years, my time at CDPR has come to an end. It's time for the new adventure.
To every person I've met on the way - thank you 🙂 It was an honor and pleasure.
See you around 🙂 pic.twitter.com/Hts3TE9VzW
— Andrzej Zawadzki (@ZawAndy) March 22, 2021
Zawadzki joined CD Projekt RED in 2013 as a QA tester for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, a position which he also filled for the game's subsequently released DLC expansions, Hearts of Stone and Blood and Wine. He joined the Cyberpunk team as a junior designer in 2016, and was promoted to senior game designer in March 2020 - only a month before the game's initial scheduled release. Ultimately, Cyberpunk was delayed multiple times due to difficulties potentially associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.
His time leading the Cyberpunk team was not an easy one, as CD Projekt RED received severe fan criticism, up to and including death threats, in response to both the multiple delays and the buggy, difficult to play game which was ultimately released in late 2020. Zawadzki, who is rarely active on social media, spoke up against these death threats on Twitter. He attempted to remind CD Projekt's critics that game developers are "people just like you."
It is unknown who will replace Zawadzki as the head of the Cyberpunk 2077 development team. CD Projekt RED has responded to fan complaints by asserting that they will continue working on the game, releasing post-launch patches to fix various errors and quality issues. The upcoming Version 1.2 patch is currently planned to improve the mechanics of driving, dodging, and police response to incidents.
Whoever replaces Zawadzki will be faced with a fan base that is still not satisfied with the current state of Cyberpunk 2077. It remains to be seen how the game will continue to develop and be updated - or perhaps re-released entirely - in the future.