Dying Light 2 Studio Techland Accused Of Toxic Work Environment, Limiting Creativity
The studio has been accused of inappropriate and discriminatory statements by the leadership team and a culture that discourages creativity.
Dying Light 2 developer Techland is reportedly a turmoil-filed and often-toxic place to work, with multiple developers blaming leadership for poor feedback and inappropriate behavior. The problems could be exacerbated because the current HR lead is also the CEO's spouse.
Speaking to The Gamer, multiple developers said an artist had been given homophobic feedback regarding a piece of work they had turned in. CEO Pawel Marchewka responded by saying his team has "lively" talks as they are iterating games, did not deny that such words could have been used while giving feedback, and said the team would "remind our employees to make sure they communicate appropriately."
However, the report found that this wasn't a one-off issue, with misogynistic statements made during meetings, but because Marchewka's wife Aleksandra Marchewka is head of HR, it makes it more difficult to raise these types of issues. Turnover has been high at the studio, with sources saying that you must be "subservient" in order to have a long career there.
Several people also mentioned a lack of creativity at the studio that spawns from Marchewka's desire to have an existing reference point in another game when something new is implemented as well as low-cost solutions during development. They say it's creating a culture where people are being burnt out and leave, frustrated with the lack of trust they seem to be offered by the leadership.
This isn't the first controversy we've seen at Techland, though the earlier situation wasn't limited to just one studio. Former Dying Light 2 narrative director Chris Avellone was accused of sexual assault and harassment by multiple people in 2020, and Techland cut ties with him. Avellone had also been working on Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines 2, and publisher Paradox Interactive said none of his work would be used in the final game.