Damien Monnier, the creator of Gwent and lead designer on its forthcoming standalone version, has left CD Projekt Red.
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The news comes via Monnier’s Twitter account, which said the following earlier today:
The timing is a little odd, with Gwent’s standalone game still in development and currently in closed beta on PC. You can still sign up, if you like. If you've done so and haven't received an invite, don't panic, as CDPR say they're sending them out in waves.
Eurogamer followed up, asking what Monnier was planning to do next and why he was leaving.
To the first question, he replied: “I have no idea yet but it has to be an exciting project and a cool company - we’ll see!” To the second, he directed the question to CD Projekt Red, who said “both parties agreed to part ways. Suffice to say, Damien has a lot of friends and people who will definitely miss him here in the studio”.
Monnier will no doubt be a great loss to the studio, as he was not only one of the two original creators of Gwent, but was also credited as a senior gameplay designer for The Witcher 3, and will have had input elsewhere.
Despite this, CD Projekt Red were keen to reassure Gwent fans who were anxious about the game’s development. “It’s worth remembering that this game is being developed by a team that is more than a few dozen strong, with quite a lot of designers on board. We have a precise roadmap for Gwent and that has not changed at all.”
Gwent doesn’t yet have a release date, but the confident expectation is that it’ll be out next year. It will be free-to-play with microtransactions.