CD Projekt has confirmed that the work it did on a new Witcher game to give it a “new framework” has now been completed. In a regulatory filing, CD Projekt said this work on Project Sirius–the codename for the new game–has now been completed. The game is being developed by The Molasses Flood, a Boston-based developer owned by CD Projekt. That studio has undergone layoffs as a result of this change, according to reporter Ethan Gach.
“Because the project changed, so has the composition of the team that’s working on it–mainly on The Molasses Flood’s side,” a spokesperson said.
Update: CDPR confirms layoffs at Witcher spin-off studio Molasses Flood. Says 29 devs affected and calls it the result of the game’s reboot.
“Because the project changed, so has the composition of the team that’s working on it – mainly on The Molasses Flood’s side.” pic.twitter.com/F0HwPcIYrx
— AmericanTruckSongs9 (@ethangach) May 15, 2023
We still don’t know anything about what the “new framework” is or why it needed to be undertaken. Game development is a highly iterative process, so it’s not surprising that the game underwent some changes. What is more notable is that CD Projekt made these changes public by way of a legal filing due to the financial impact of the situation.
CD Projekt Red originally said the value of expenses incurred from implementing the “new framework” came to 33.4 million PLN ($7.6 million USD) for 2022 and 9.5 million PLN ($2.2 million USD) for January and February 2023. This comes out to 42.9 million PLN, or $9.7 million USD.
In its newest filing dated May 11, CD Projekt said it was making partial changes to that accounting in the amount of 21.5 million PLN ($5.2 million USD) for expenses incurred in 2022, down from the 33.4 million PLN ($7.6 million USS) it originally reported. Additionally, a part of the development expenditures for Project Sirius in the first quarter of 2023 will be written off–the amount is 2.7 million PLN ($650,000 USD).
The wording of CD Projekt’s original announcement suggested a “complete scrapping” of the existing version of Project Sirius, but the developer never confirmed (or denied) this.
A spokesperson for CD Projekt told GameSpot today, “We finished the process of defining a new framework for Project Sirius, which we mentioned in our regulatory report from March 20, 2023. We are excited with the updated direction, but we are not ready to talk about details just yet.”
Project Sirius was announced in October 2022 under that codename, with CD Projekt billing it as an innovative take on The Witcher series aimed at veterans and newcomers alike. It was in pre-production as of October 2022 and had more than 60 people working on it then.
The Molasses Flood previously developed The Flame in the Flood, a survival game featuring original music from Chuck Ragan.
Project Sirius was one of multiple games that CD Projekt announced in October 2022. Others included a new trilogy of mainline Witcher games from CD Projekt Red itself, as well as a third-party Witcher game codenamed Canis Majoris. The studio also announced a Cyberpunk 2077 sequel and a new IP with the codename Hadar.
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