Mateusz Kanik, who worked on Cyberpunk 2077 as a design director and principal designer, has left CD Projekt Red after 15 years. Kanik started at the company as a junior game designer on the original Witcher back in 2006 and is now a self-employed freelancer.
The information comes from the developer's LinkedIn account; there was no official statement of his retirement from the company. Mateusz Kanik briefly referred to his departure with a famous quote from the Witcher universe: "Something ends, something begins," which he dropped on his Twitter account. The veteran did not clarify his reasons, though it's nothing surprising given that the developer spent over 15 years within CDPR.
According to Kanik's portfolio, he joined the Polish studio in December 2006 and was promoted from junior to senior game designer while working on The Witcher and its unreleased port for Xbox 360, known as Rise of The White Wolf. He later served as lead gameplay designer of The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings during the early 2010s.
Something ends, Something begins :)— Mateusz Kanik (@m6a6t6i) January 4, 2022
It seems Kanik wasn't heavily involved in the development process of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, as back in 2012 he started his work on Cyberpunk 2077 as a game director. When the project entered its active development phase in 2016, Mateusz Kanik took the position of the game's design director and principal designer. He occupied both positions until January 2022.
There's little information about what Mateusz Kanik's next adventure in the industry will be, but at least he's still looking to work on video games. All we know so far is that he's a self-employed freelance developer, but it is unknown what projects Kanik currently might be involved in.
CD Projekt Red has lost plenty of its veteran staff lately, but its recent job listings indicate the studio is well aware of its latest game's flaws and intends to continue working on its improvement for as long as it takes. Cyberpunk 2077 next-gen versions are still due to arrive sometime this spring with new DLC also in the pipeline.
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