I was initially excited for Lords of the Fallen, back in the days before it had a proper name, primarily because it was the brainchild of Tomasz Gop, a producer on the first two Witcher games. Sadly, it didn't fare as well as I'd hoped it would, although Shaun says it's been tightened up quite a bit since then, and a sequel is on the way. But the sequel will be made without Gop, who announced his split with CI Games earlier today.
"Hey Guys. I will be leaving CI Games not long from now, so I am looking for a new project I could add to," Gop wrote on Facebook. "If you know anyone who'd be interested in hiring a game developer with my experience, please let them know. Appreciated!"
In an announcement reported by Eurogamer, CI Games said, "We're grateful for his input, but we have different visions for further development of the series and Tomasz will not be a part of CI Games' progress. We want to reach a wider audience for this game. That's why we're building a richer story. We're aware that these aspects could've been better in first game, so the story is a big point of the sequel, along with robust fighting system. We want to bring something fresh to RPG games."
Gop left CD Projekt in the summer of 2011, shortly after the release of The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings, saying he was "tired and a little burned out" after five years of constant work on the franchise. He revealed Lords of the Fallen in April of 2012, describing it as influenced by games like Dark Souls, Kingdoms of Amalur, and Batman: Arkham City, with a focus on "hardcore action-RPG" gameplay. The first game was developed by German studio Deck 13 Interactive, but the sequel is being made by CI Games.
"I want to respect CI's will to keep [the reasons for their parting] between me and them. I wanted all the best for Lords but there's going to be someone else leading the project and we'll see if it will make it more successful than I could," Gop said in an email sent to Eurogamer. That doesn't make the split sound entirely amicable, but he added that he'd made up his mind about leaving a couple days prior, and "we just wanted to figure out the best communication for both sides."
No production work has been done on Lords of the Fallen 2, but Gop has led the team on "relatively advanced concepting/vision" work, he said. He doesn't know whether CI will build from that or start over completely.