Image: Playground Games

CD PROJEKT RED’s Paweł Kapała jumped shipped from the Polish developer earlier this summer after serving as Cyberpunk 2077’s senior gameplay designer for nearly two and half years from March 2019 to June 2021.

He was responsible for designing the melee and firearms combat system in the controversial sci-fi RPG, which hasn’t been updated since the release of Patch 1.23 on June 17, 2021.

An update on Kapała’s LinkedIn page has revealed that the designer is now an employee at Playground Games, the first-party Xbox studio that’s best known for the popular Forza franchise of racing games.

According to the experience section on his LinkedIn page, Kapała will be leading the charge on the combat system for Playground Games’ reboot of Lionhead Studios’ ambitious action role-playing game series, Fable.

Playground Games announced that it was working on a reboot of Fable during Microsoft’s Xbox Games Showcase in July 2020. The announcement consisted of a trailer that didn’t include any actual gameplay footage, but it did tease some of the British humor that helped popularize the original games.

The Fable series comprises three mainline titles, the first of which was released for the original Xbox in September 2004 and later ported to Windows in an extended release called Fable: The Lost Chapters. The first Fable also received a remaster called Fable Anniversary in February 2014.

Image: LinkedIn

A new beginning for the legendary franchise. Explore a land of fantastical creatures and wondrous places. Developed by Playground Games for Xbox Series X, and Windows 10 and coming to Xbox Game Pass.

Source: Paweł Kapała

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7 Comments

  1. “… Playground Games, the first-party Xbox studio that’s best known for the popular Forza franchise of racing games.”
    Actually that would be Turn10. Playground only did the spin-off [I]Forza Horizon[/I] series.

  2. I’m sorry I’ve TRIED to get into past fable games and it just never clicked for me. Here is hoping that Playground Games can do something with this.

    But the only Forza.. ok no that’s not right. The most recent Forza game I’ve played has been horizon 4 and I’m looking forward to 5.

    But I don’t see how experience with Forza will help with making a Fable game, maybe the melee combat will be more fluid but this person isn’t a lead programmer… just a person helping to steer the boat that everyone else makes work.

    You want to see the real tactical hires… it’s going to be the people that a good leader brings on to the team because they know they can figure shit out and solve problems. But they never talk about those people.

  3. People need to understand that game developers move from studio to studio and project to project frequently. Why this stuff makes the news so much these days is beyond me. It’s always been like that.

  4. [QUOTE=”Dan_D, post: 39311, member: 6″]
    People need to understand that game developers move from studio to studio and project to project frequently. Why this stuff makes the news so much these days is beyond me. It’s always been like that.
    [/QUOTE]
    Yeah, and that is why it is pointless to cling to named developers. Chances are that most key people are replaced between two consecutive projects. Also ground work on the next title starts long before the last one is out the door, so the people working on two games from the same studio might not be the same anyway.

  5. [QUOTE=”MadMummy76, post: 39317, member: 1298″]
    Yeah, and that is why it is pointless to cling to named developers. Chances are that most key people are replaced between two consecutive projects. Also ground work on the next title starts long before the last one is out the door, so the people working on two games from the same studio might not be the same anyway.
    [/QUOTE]

    It depends. As projects start the development teams aren’t at full strength. When they wind down, people often get reassigned to other projects. Developers rarely stay at studios for too long either. There are lots of reasons for this. Namely, the transitory nature of the business. As you finish one project, there is no guarantee you will be assigned to another. Most employees are contractors and thus, they have to always be on the look out for other projects with any studio they can find or risk being out of work.

    Even worse, Dallas used to be the hub of AAA game development. Few studios are left in the DFW area as everything transitioned to other parts of the country and a ton of development went to Canada. I think Id has one here and that’s about all I can think of. As a result, almost no one I knew in the game industry is still in it. Not everyone was willing to move across the country to work in a grueling industry like that.

    Also, a lot of game developers only work in the business a few years and get out of it. The hours are long, pay isn’t great and they aren’t treated particularly well. Thus, I see little to no point in even bothering to remember developers names or give a shit when they go anywhere else. Sometimes people get excited about developers leaving a studio and starting another one, but even that rarely goes well. Respawn has some solid work under their belt, but it’s nothing like the Call of Duty juggernaut that those developers created while at Infinity Ward.

    Many developers and teams that left one studio or another to start one often create mediocre titles or fail in a few short years. Ion Storm/Daikatana and Flagship Studios/Hellgate London are good examples of this. Either horrible failure or mediocre titles at best. Even if you have the same creative people, lightning doesn’t necessarily strike twice. Even if you have the necessary creative team and they’ve got another great idea, you need focused leadership and project management that can get stuff done. That’s not always the case. Look at Star Citizen as an example of this. Chris Roberts got a lot of credit for Wing Commander, but without someone to hold him accountable, the project has been stalled by feature creep, overspending and general mismanagement.

    I could go on and on about this but the fact of the matter is that there really is no reason to get attached to developers and monitor where they go. Sometimes its mildly interesting, but that’s it as far as I am concerned. I can’t think of any developers who have been consistent enough in their projects and execution of those projects to get excited when they announce something new, start a studio or change jobs.

    Let’s take this guy for example. He’s responsible for the combat for Cyberpunk 2077. That’s not an ultra impressive feat in my mind. The fact is the combat is horribly unbalanced to the point of being unfinished, broken and just lazy to a degree. Gear mods and some cyberware don’t work. Hell even the interface that tells you how much a mod is going to do are still broken to this day 8 months after the game’s release.

    I’m not excited about jack shit this guy does. While I think Cyberpunk 2077 is a great game at its core, the execution is unfinished if I’m being honest. That may not be this guy’s fault, but if he was the lead, the buck should stop with him on that. His management could have short changed him on time and that’s probably the case but they haven’t exactly fixed things too much since release. It’s mostly quest bugs that were being fixed. That tells us Pawel Sasko (I’m not checking the spelling of his last name) is on the ball while Pawel Kapala may not be. His area is largely unchanged since release.

    Anyway, I hope I’ve made my point. Of course, people are free to be fans of whomever for whatever reason.

  6. Dan to further your point. I tend to agree with you. The studio’s I’ve seen come up from nothing… literally out of nowhere…

    ID software is a stellar example.
    Bethesda is another one. (Yes there have been mistakes but overall they are great.)
    Bioware was one.
    Blizzard was another

    A lot of these places gave a sense of stability to the teams working for them before the upper leadership had enough and decided to walk away from the studio they helped found and guide.

    I find that the studios that can get enough cash to stick around for a while and build a good development team with a sense of stability are the ones that can hang and make some great titles. Teams where they are changing out talent all the time and never keeping people around are really the ones that have the flash in the pan success stories IF any.

    Change in people is good… bringing in fresh talent is good… but destroying your core development team because… x reason is just stupid unless they truly suck.

  7. Basically, these buyout stories are all the same. XYZ builds up a fanbase for their IP’s and games. They foster good will in the gaming community and make decent profits. Eventually, some big corporation buys them out and retains the existing legacy staff for a time. But, those founders now have bosses they are accountable to. Over time the corporation changes how things are run and slowly assimilates it until they are a joyless production unit cranking out safe and profitable games.

    Eventually, the sole of what these companies were built on gets driven out. Talent, leadership, joy, you name it. Eventually they drive them out in the name of profitability. I could get more specific but all corporate buyouts of small businesses basically playout the same way given enough time.

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