CD Projekt‘s year continues to deteriorate with the latest set of allegations to emerge from the studio. According to Bloomberg, Konrad Tomaszkiewicz, the director of The Witcher 3, has left the company following allegations of workplace bullying.
A CD Projekt staff e-mail has revealed Tomaszkiewicz was accused of mobbing, which is a term for office bullying. He has stated that a commission has since found him not guilty of the allegations. However, he decided to leave the company because “nonetheless, a lot of people are feeling fear, stress or discomfort when working with me”. He has since apologised to the staff at CD Projekt “for all the bad blood I have caused” and has promised to “continue working” on himself: “Changing behavior is a long and arduous process, but I’m not giving up, and I hope to change”.
The Witcher 3 has been incredibly successful, selling 30 million copies. On the other hand, despite selling nearly 14 million copies, Cyberpunk 2077 dragged CD Projekt’s reputation down. The development of the latter game was also marred by allegations of development woes and employee departures. The game’s poor critical reception then caused a backlash against management from the development staff, especially after they seemingly blamed the game’s QA team for many of its issues. The divide grew even further when CD Projekt RED’s board members received $4-6 million in bonuses this year while the staff’s bonuses ranged from $5,000 to $20,000.
Sales of Cyberpunk 2077 have slowed over the last few months, mainly due to the game’s removal from the PlayStation Store and its knock-on effect on sales on other platforms. The company then offered a refund program after many players complained of a “poor experience”, which resulted in an apology from CDPR co-founder Marcin Iwinski. Other retailers and platform holders also offered their own refunds. Lawyers and investors have even submitted lawsuits, although CDPR confirmed they would take “vigorous action” to defend themselves against these claims.
The developer has also suffered from a ransomware attack where the hackers threatened to reveal confidential documents. During the attack, the source code was stolen for The Witcher 3 and Cyberpunk 2077. CDPR had to use DMCA strikes to stop the code from spreading across the world.