Thursday, January 24th 2019

CD Projekt Red Narrative Director Joins Blizzard Entertainment After Work on Cyberpunk 2077

This story has been going around the online media for a few hours now, with some arguably baseless speculation on the future of the hotly-anticipated Cyberpunk 2077 game added. Indeed, the facts are only that Sebastian Stępień, who has been with CD Projekt Red for over 12 years, has listed also a new job position as Creative Director for Blizzard Entertainment as of this month. He has been the Narrative and Setting Director for everyone's favorite Polish game outfit, and there is no word yet on whether he has actually quit this position, or whether there is a transition period in place wherein he will continue to be involved as necessary for Cyberpunk 2077 to go gold.

It is unlikely that such a transition period will exist, however, if only because such roles in the corporate ladder involve a physical move- especially when the companies are over an ocean apart. There is no reason to speculate that this will affect the finished product as far as the game goes, if only because the role of narration is essentially over with when this late in the development cycle. There is also speculation galore on how future DLC might get affected, which is valid, but sources in the game industry suggest that storyboards are already in place, and overall plans will not be affected much. We should be more interested in what he brings to Blizzard Entertainment, which has been sorely lacking in new IP in the past decade.
Source: LinkedIn Profile for Sebastian Stępień
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19 Comments on CD Projekt Red Narrative Director Joins Blizzard Entertainment After Work on Cyberpunk 2077

#1
FreedomEclipse
~Technological Technocrat~
He has fallen to the dark side :shadedshu::shadedshu:

What are they gonna do?? Make a SteamPunk style starcraft?
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#2
dj-electric
Maybe this guy can fix the Diablo story line.
Here's for hoping.
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#3
Vayra86
dj-electric, post: 3980804, member: 87186"
Maybe this guy can fix the Diablo story line.
Here's for hoping.
That would be a complete waste of time. How many people play Diablo 'for the story'?! I think the most they get out of it is 'Stay a while and listen' only to run off into the next dungeon.

Was it even ever such a great story to begin with, I wonder. It had nice cutscenes (the old Diablos) for its time, that is what stuck with me the most. The story itself? You're some random someone and get caught up in a quest to kill demons... right? (300+ hours played...)

Honestly Blizzard sorely needs some new IP, and I really hope that's part of his job description. Diablo was actually dead and buried when they released 3 and consoleified it, there are better alternatives out now and I'm sure it'll be a smash hit on mobile devices (format is fine for simple control schemes). HotS got axed by Blizz themselves, Overwatch needs no writing and neither does Hearthstone. Starcraft is EOL. What's left?
Posted on Reply
#4
dj-electric
Vayra86, post: 3980812, member: 152404"
That would be a complete waste of time. How many people play Diablo 'for the story'?! I think the most they get out of it is 'Stay a while and listen' only to run off into the next dungeon.

Was it even ever such a great story to begin with, I wonder. It had nice cutscenes (the old Diablos) for its time, that is what stuck with me the most. The story itself? You're some random someone and get caught up in a quest to kill demons... right? (300+ hours played...)

Honestly Blizzard sorely needs some new IP, and I really hope that's part of his job description. Diablo was actually dead and buried when they released 3, there are better alternatives out now. HotS got axed by Blizz themselves, Overwatch needs no writing and neither does Hearthstone. Starcraft is EOL. What's left?
Actually, a lot of us Diablo fans do care about the story, and your comment perfectly shows the other side of people who just can't connect with the lore.

You're not some random somebody, you are a character in a rich world with a nice background story of the place you came from. Read up on some Diablo books and lore, there's plenty (6000+ hours played...). Thousands of years of war, locations and events accrued in sanctuary since its inception by the creator.

I do agree that Blizz can use another 1-2 IPs, but there's still tons of ground to cover with its existing universes.
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#5
natr0n
That money green makes you do things.
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#6
kastriot
Well majority of people have price sticker on them.
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#7
moproblems99
At least he could have gone to a studio that produces something worth while.
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#8
jmcslob
kastriot, post: 3980840, member: 165334"
Well majority of people have price sticker on them.
Mine is $17...no anal- no homo
Good for him.
No reason to continue working for a smaller publisher that makes "decent games" when you can go to a large publisher that makes "games" but pays 3x or better.
Posted on Reply
#9
Vayra86
moproblems99, post: 3980844, member: 155919"
At least he could have gone to a studio that produces something worth while.
Who knows what he'll work on - at Blizzard there is at least the chance of being part of something big. You can only do so many projects in your working life, I don't see why these people can't move around. Besides, CDPR isn't really the best employer in the world and Blizzard most certainly is a (big) step up.
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#10
moproblems99
The size of the company means nothing. It is the quality of the product that means something. Isn't this the company that just relegated Diablo to mobile? I can't comment on WoW because it is not my thing. The games that they seem to churn out do not lend themselves to stories. Overwatch, WoW, etc.
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#11
Vayra86
moproblems99, post: 3980890, member: 155919"
The size of the company means nothing. It is the quality of the product that means something. Isn't this the company that just relegated Diablo to mobile? I can't comment on WoW because it is not my thing. The games that they seem to churn out do not lend themselves to stories. Overwatch, WoW, etc.
WoW has some pretty damn expansive lore though. And as I was corrected apparently Diablo has that too. But WoW = Warcraft universe = seriously well fleshed out. Starcraft, for me, had the most captivating campaign (and I mean part 1) and I read ALL of the smaller background stories in the pretty nice, fat manual that you got with it. Brilliant.

If there is one overarching theme with all of Blizzards' games is that they really know how to build distinct characters for their games. Warcraft has several returning legends that everybody knows. Similar thing with Diablo - even I know them, while not caring about the story at all, and that includes some of their voice lines. Starcraft also has many very cool characters, like Raynor, Kerrigan, etc.

And even Overwatch, every hero is really quite unique and peculiar, stands out and is well developed overall. DOTA, which started its life as a mod for Warcraft 3, also eagerly used the iconic character (models) and borrows heavily from the Warcraft lore, while not copying it. It is part of its success as well.

When it comes to the actual writing I think Blizzard is a great employer.
Posted on Reply
#12
moproblems99
Vayra86, post: 3980891, member: 152404"
WoW has some pretty damn expansive lore though. And as I was corrected apparently Diablo has that too. But WoW = Warcraft universe = seriously well fleshed out. Starcraft, for me, had the most captivating campaign (and I mean part 1) and I read ALL of the smaller background stories in the pretty nice, fat manual that you got with it. Brilliant.

If there is one overarching theme with all of Blizzards' games is that they really know how to build distinct characters for their games. Warcraft has several returning legends that everybody knows. Similar thing with Diablo - even I know them, while not caring about the story at all, and that includes some of their voice lines. Starcraft also has many very cool characters, like Raynor, Kerrigan, etc.

And even Overwatch, every hero is really quite unique and peculiar, stands out and is well developed overall. DOTA, which started its life as a mod for Warcraft 3, also eagerly used the iconic character (models) and borrows heavily from the Warcraft lore, while not copying it. It is part of its success as well.

When it comes to the actual writing I think Blizzard is a great employer.
Hey, to each their own. I think he could have had a better impact at say....Bethesda.
Posted on Reply
#13
Imsochobo
Vayra86, post: 3980891, member: 152404"
WoW has some pretty damn expansive lore though. And as I was corrected apparently Diablo has that too. But WoW = Warcraft universe = seriously well fleshed out. Starcraft, for me, had the most captivating campaign (and I mean part 1) and I read ALL of the smaller background stories in the pretty nice, fat manual that you got with it. Brilliant.

If there is one overarching theme with all of Blizzards' games is that they really know how to build distinct characters for their games. Warcraft has several returning legends that everybody knows. Similar thing with Diablo - even I know them, while not caring about the story at all, and that includes some of their voice lines. Starcraft also has many very cool characters, like Raynor, Kerrigan, etc.

And even Overwatch, every hero is really quite unique and peculiar, stands out and is well developed overall. DOTA, which started its life as a mod for Warcraft 3, also eagerly used the iconic character (models) and borrows heavily from the Warcraft lore, while not copying it. It is part of its success as well.

When it comes to the actual writing I think Blizzard is a great employer.
Starcraft, Warcraft and Diablo is good.
I felt after D3 blizzard just made games for money, they still keep their older games alive which is great.
Posted on Reply
#14
dozenfury
Not that Poland isn't nice, but there are a lot of benefits to working/living in or around Anaheim also. The only thing is on the last sentence of the article, Blizz has had Overwatch, Hearthstone, and HoTS (if you could that). So they have had some success. But when the new huge mmo that they were working for years and was supposed to be their big new IP got regurgitated into Overwatch that put a damper on things.
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#15
TheGuruStud
Blizzard is dead. They made it abundantly clear they don't care about quality. Personnel changes mean nothing. Write them off and ignore.
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#16
lZKoce
Vayra86, post: 3980812, member: 152404"
That would be a complete waste of time. How many people play Diablo 'for the story'?! I think the most they get out of it is 'Stay a while and listen' only
+200%, that line reversed 15 years in a blink of an eye :)

dj-electric, post: 3980818, member: 87186"
Actually, a lot of us Diablo fans do care about the story, and your comment perfectly shows the other side of people who just can't connect with the lore.

You're not some random somebody, you are a character in a rich world with a nice background story of the place you came from. Read up on some Diablo books and lore, there's plenty (6000+ hours played...). Thousands of years of war, locations and events accrued in sanctuary since its inception by the creator.
I am sorry, but I am with @Vayra86 on this one. I started playing Diablo as weird as it sounds, because it had the best (IMO) werewolf/werebear character at the time. Of course you could shapeshift in Neverwinter Nights, Baldur's gate etc...RPGs at the time, but it wasn't the same (for me at least). Years later I actually paid attention to the cut scenes, lore, the short animation that came out, but you know what....I find it pretty shallow. It doesn't move a single string in me and I give a fuzzy rat's rectum about the character's motivation. Ask me about Dead space or Soma (for example) years after I finished the games and I can detail you what's going on for hours. I also bought the two graphic novels on Dead space. When I saw the character selection for Diablo 3, I was done. There was no werewolf, and that was it for me, I didn't care. Only when they brought back the necromanser, was the first time I would even consider Diablo 3.

Same thing about Stacraft. It is my number one, hands down game of all time for me. I have watched thousands of hours of GSL, Live championships, Day9 TV, etc.. etc...and played myself and you know what....I can't tell you a single story from the SC universe. Not a single one. Played the single player campaign multiple times as well, watched videos explaining what's going on and I didn't bother to buy a single book from the series.

Same thing with Warcraft3. If it wasn't for the movie I'd probably wouldn't be able to tell you what the orcs were fighting for. So, yeah I don't know, but Blizz aren't the brightest story-wise IMHO.
Posted on Reply
#17
TheGuruStud
lZKoce, post: 3981281, member: 102554"
+200%, that line reversed 15 years in a blink of an eye :)



I am sorry, but I am with @Vayra86 on this one. I started playing Diablo as weird as it sounds, because it had the best (IMO) werewolf/werebear character at the time. Of course you could shapeshift in Neverwinter Nights, Baldur's gate etc...RPGs at the time, but it wasn't the same (for me at least). Years later I actually paid attention to the cut scenes, lore, the short animation that came out, but you know what....I find it pretty shallow. It doesn't move a single string in me and I give a fuzzy rat's rectum about the character's motivation. Ask me about Dead space or Soma (for example) years after I finished the games and I can detail you what's going on for hours. I also bought the two graphic novels on Dead space. When I saw the character selection for Diablo 3, I was done. There was no werewolf, and that was it for me, I didn't care. Only when they brought back the necromanser, was the first time I would even consider Diablo 3.

Same thing about Stacraft. It is my number one, hands down game of all time for me. I have watched thousands of hours of GSL, Live championships, Day9 TV, etc.. etc...and played myself and you know what....I can't tell you a single story from the SC universe. Not a single one. Played the single player campaign multiple times as well, watched videos explaining what's going on and I didn't bother to buy a single book from the series.

Same thing with Warcraft3. If it wasn't for the movie I'd probably wouldn't be able to tell you what the orcs were fighting for. So, yeah I don't know, but Blizz aren't the brightest story-wise IMHO.
You don't remember the cutscenes from SC2? Are you crazy? Did you even play Kerrigan's campaign? Me thinks you need to watch the cutscene movie on youtube.
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#18
Vayra86
TheGuruStud, post: 3981289, member: 42692"
You don't remember the cutscenes from SC2? Are you crazy? Did you even play Kerrigan's campaign?
Yeah I did like it, but was it as awesome in terms of plot twists and all compared to SC1? I mean that campaign was just mental, especially the way they developed Kerrigan. In SC2 she does 'more of that' but it wasn't new anymore.
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#19
lZKoce
TheGuruStud, post: 3981289, member: 42692"
You don't remember the cutscenes from SC2? Are you crazy? Did you even play Kerrigan's campaign? Me thinks you need to watch the cutscene movie on youtube.
I didn't say I didn't remember, but I can't really tell you a complete coherent story with each character's background as you would with a book or movie that made a strong impression on you. That's just my opinion though.
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