Lords of the Fallen 2 has changed creative course and in the process shed executive producer Tomasz Gop. He announced his departure on Facebook and discussed it more in an email exchange with me this morning.
In a news conference, relayed by Eurogamer Poland, employer 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."
Full production will begin late 2015, with writer Jess Lebow (Guild Wars, Forgotten Realms) conjuring the story, and Paul Robinson (Full Spectrum Warrior, Killzone 2, and a former US Marine) as creative director.
Over email, Gop said: "I want to respect CI's will to keep that [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.
"I made [up] my mind a couple of days ago," he added, "we just wanted to figure out the best communication for both sides."
It's up to CI Games whether they keep the work - no production "but relatively advanced concepting/vision" - the team, under his guidance, had done.
Gop is still technically an employee of CI Games, he said, but is being allowed space to use his time now to look for new job opportunities. Those needn't necessarily be in Poland, he added. Before Gop helmed Lords of the Fallen he was spokesperson for The Witcher 2.
"I want to make games," he said. "I feel like I can add value to triple-A projects with my experience and would like to. I don't know what I'll do yet, but I'll be happy to even consider relocation for the right opportunity."
Lords of the Fallen made a capable debut last autumn. It mimicked the Souls series heavily, with ideas of its own, and from what I know of Tomasz Gop, it's perhaps further in this combat-centric direction he wanted to push the sequel. Nevertheless, with primary Lords of the Fallen 1 developer Deck13 also parting ways with CI Games, the sequel could feel very different indeed.
CI Games hopes to release Lords of the Fallen 2 in 2017, and will lead development in-house but lean heavily on outsourced work from around the world, particularly China (a similar approach was used for Lords 1).