Pawel Selinger, the Art Director of Dying Light 2, has left developer Techland after 22 years. He was also a writer on the game.
He made the announcement on LinkedIn earlier this week, where he wrote:
After over twenty-two years, I decided to end my cooperation with Techland. I would like to express my gratitude to the company that has allowed me to develop and fulfill myself for half of my life. Techland, I will always be rooting for you, as well as the great people I have met thanks to you. I wish you that Dying light 2 and subsequent projects will become world hits. Good bye and good luck!
In response to the announcement and resulting fan worries, Techland sent a statement to Game Informer. The developer wants to “reassure all fans of the upcoming Dying Light 2” by stating that the position of Art Director has been held by Eric Cochonneau since November 2019.
In the last two years, Selinger’s position has been Narration Designer — and, at the end of 2020, he decided to pursue his career elsewhere. “Paweł spent most of his professional life at Techland and he, among others, takes credit for the success of the series Call of Juarez,” says the company statement. “He left a large piece of himself with Dying Light 2, as he worked on the project from the very beginning.” His narrative duties were taken over by Piotr Szymanek in October.
The statement ends with the developer revealing news about Dying Light 2 is coming soon.
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While Selinger’s departure could be for a number of reasons, including that he simply just wanted a change after two decades, the emerging fan worries about Dying Light 2′s development are understandable. Just a few weeks shy of one year ago, Techland announced the game was indefinitely delayed. It would miss its initially scheduled launch window of Spring 2020.
“We were initially aiming for a Spring 2020 release with Dying Light 2,” said Techland CEO Pawel Marchewka, “but unfortunately we need more development time to fulfill our vision. We will have more details to share in the coming months, and will get back to you as soon as we have more information. We apologize for this unwelcome news. Our priority is to deliver an experience that lives up to our own high standards and to the expectations of you, our fans. Please stay tuned, and thank you to our fans around the world for your continued support, patience, and understanding.”
The last in-depth look the community has had at Dying Light 2 was its 2019 extended gameplay trailer, which you can watch above. Since then, the most high-profile news of the game has been the dismissal of Chris Avellone, who was Dying Light 2′s previous narrative designer. In June of 2020, Avellone was accused of sexual assault and harassment by multiple women. In response to the allegations, Techland said it takes, “matters of sexual harassment and disrespect with utmost care.” A short while later, the company announced it had decided to part ways with Avellone.
“Together with Chris Avellone, we’ve decided to end our cooperation. We are still working towards delivering the experience we promised in Dying Light 2. Both our narrative team, which Chris supported, and the whole development team of Dying Light 2 continue progressing efficiently, according to the plan revised at the beginning of the year.”
The very much ongoing and worsening COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant effect on game development, leading to the delays of games like Halo Infinite, Kena: Bridge of Spirits, Guilty Gear Strive, and many more. Game development is already unpredictable enough without the complications that have come with the coronavirus. It’s important that, as we look towards video games for solace and anticipate upcoming titles, we are mindful of the effects on the industry’s workers and their conditions.