Cyberpunk 2077 sequel announces new lead writer, design director, and executive producer: 'It's like renaissance but with laser katanas,' creative director says

Cyberpunk 2077 screen - augmented character holding a rifle
(Image credit: CD Projekt)

CD Projekt officially confirmed in October that the sequel to Cyberpunk 2077 is in early development, and it seems that process is starting to heat up. The studio announced today that it's added five veteran developers "with years of experience" to the team, including former New World head of production Dan Hernberg and Control pre-production narrative lead Anna Megill.

Megill had previously served as narrative lead on Playgrounds Games' still-in-development Fable reboot, a role she took on in June 2022. She announced her departure from the project in July 2023, saying "the time feels right for new challenges," and apparently she found a good one. She's now the lead writer on Project Orion, as the Cyberpunk 2077 sequel is currently known, and brings considerable experience to the role: Along with Fable and Orion, Megill's game writing credits include Dishonored: Death of the Outsider, Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora, and Guild Wars 2.

Joining Megill in the writers' room is Alexander Freed, who's previously written for games including Star Wars: The Old Republic, Wasteland 3, and Battlefield 2042. He's also a New York Times best-selling author with a whole big bunch of novels and comics to his name.

Hernberg, now the executive producer on Orion, has previously worked on New World and Lost Ark—head of production on both—and a range of Blizzard games you may have heard of including Overwatch, StarCraft 2, World of Warcraft, and Diablo 3. He also spent a few years at Panic Button, during which time he earned credits on Apex Legends, Doom and Doom Eternal, Wolfenstein: Youngblood, and Subnautica.

Ryan Barnard, with design and direction credits on Crysis 2, Ryse: Son of Rome, The Division, and Hitman 2, has joined the Orion team as design director, while Alan Villani, formerly vice president of technology on a number of Warner games including Mortal Combat X and Mad Max, has signed on as engineering director.

(Image credit: Igor Sarzyński (Twitter))

"And here's our Orion edgerunner crew," Cyberpunk 2077 creative director Igor Sarzyński tweeted. "The amount of talent on board is truly mindmelting. It's like renaissance but with laser katanas."

The announcement comes a month after Sarzyński said CD Projekt was ready to "officially kickstart our Orion journey," and I get the sense the studio is hoping to reassure fans that the project is in good hands—and that this time, it knows exactly what it's doing: Sarzyński also said in January that Cyberpunk 2077 "was just a warm-up." While it's certainly well-regarded now, Cyberpunk 2077's launch was less "warm-up" and more "tire fire"—a very buggy game that released after a period of mandatory crunch. Thwarting the notion that the sequel might repeat history is clearly on CD Projekt's mind.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.