Cyberpunk 2077 Gets a New Game Director

Previously a creative director, Gabriel Amatangelo has taken over the role.

Cyberpunk 2077 now has a new game director. Going forward, Gabriel Amatangelo, who joined CD Projekt Red in January 2020 as a creative director for the title, will fulfill the role.

The news was first reported by GamesIndustry.biz earlier this week on May 27. Amatangelo was previously the design director on Dragon Age: Inquisition DLC and the lead designer on various expansions for Star Wars: The Old Republic. His expertise will play an essential role as Cyberpunk 2077 eventually moves past its troubled launch and looks ahead to new future content.

(I am praying for that new content to have plenty of Judy Alvarez. Cyberpunk 2077 has many flaws, but Judy is not one of them. Amatangelo, I am respectfully asking.)

Cyberpunk 2077′s former game director is Adam Badowski, who is also the developer’s head of studio. Leaving the role will allow him to focus on other leadership duties inside the company. CD Projekt Red has a crucial and potentially transformative year ahead of it. While the Polish developer reported in April that it’s had its most financially successful year yet, it’s learned “a huge lesson” from the reception to Cyberpunk 2077. One aspect of that lesson has manifested in an internal shift the studio calls “Red 2.0.” Whereas the company had previously dedicated itself solely to developing one title at a time, now multiple titles will be in parallel development.

“I don’t see an option to shelve Cyberpunk 2077, joint chief executive Adam Kicinski said in an April interview. “We are convinced that we can bring the game to such a state that we can be proud of it and therefore successfully sell it for years to come.” Free content updates that were originally planned for early 2021, as well as the next-gen upgrade for PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S, were delayed to focus on fixing the base state of the game.

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In related news, Cyberpunk 2077’s quests director Mateusz Tomaszkiewicz announced his departure from the company on May 28. He was the quest design lead for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt and the game director for Thronebreaker: The Witcher Tales. “I’ve made a decision to leave the company and to look elsewhere for new adventures,” he wrote on Twitter. “This decision didn’t come lightly, but I feel like it’s time for change … I don’t know yet where I will go next, for now I’m planning to spend some time recharging before I move on for the next exciting thing.”

Beyond the fact it’s another change in the lead positions for Cyberpunk 2077, it’s likely not worth reading into this much at the moment. Employees leave companies all the time. There are numerous developers who left Naughty Dog following the release of The Last of Us Part II, which was largely only met with critical and financial fanfare. Both CD Projekt Red and Naughty Dog employees reportedly suffered through much crunch to get these blockbuster titles out. However, there are many reasons — individually personal and not — as to why a developer may leave a company once a game is shipped.

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Natalie Flores

Natalie is Fanbyte's Featured Contributor, with bylines at places like VICE, Polygon, PC Gamer, Paste Magazine, and more.

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