Earlier today, news broke that People Can Fly, the Poland-based studio responsible for Bulletstorm, had seen significant resignations as it lost its creative director, principle artist, and lead artist. These departures are related to how People Can Fly has been purchased by Epic Games. Their studio system now includes Chair, Impossible Games, Epic Japan, and Epic Korea.
In 2007, Epic acquired a majority stake in the studio, and this move was something that Epic VP Mark Rein said the company always wanted to do:
“We doubled down on People Can Fly. It was something we always hoped to do.”
More so, Rein added that the resignations of Adrian Chmielarz, Andrzej Poznanski, Michal Kosieradzki were amicable.
“We will be helping (Chmielarz) with some future announcements. Our paths will be crossing again.”
This isn’t the first loss People Can Fly has seen in the past week: director of production Rod Fergusson decided to leave and join Irrational Games on their work on BioShock: Infinite last week. But Rein noted that his loss would have no impact on Gears of War: Judgment, the current project of People Can Fly.
“Rod was the director of production, he was overseeing all of the producers. That’s not to say he wasn’t touching it at all, but he no longer had that direct role.”
Analysis: Despite what Rein states about these losses not impacting development at all, I always become a little concerned. The same can be said for the recent departure of Tim Gerritsen, the director of product development, and art director Nate Wells at Irrational Games. Sure, it doesn’t definitely mean that there is a problem within the development cycle, but it isn’t exactly filling me with hope.
As for the purchase of People Can Fly, I believe that Epic has made the smart move here and “double down,” they should. The people at People Can Fly have proven that they can make an enjoyable albeit possibly shallow game despite not reporting sales figures that were lower than expected. In fact, looking at the list of studios under the Epic umbrella, one can’t help by be impressed by some of the talent over there.
Maybe this purchase could lead to a Bulletstorm 2, right? One can always dream, I suppose.