It has been 8 years since the release of The Witcher III: The Wild Hunt, and fans are eager to return to CD Projekt RED’s adaptation of the Continent. While the Polish developer has focused on their new Cyberpunk franchise in the last few years, its focus has shifted back to The Witcher with three separate projects already in the works.
One of these projects codenamed Sirius was initially announced as a game that supports both single and multiplayer gameplay, and includes a story and quests like the original Witcher trilogy. It is meant to be targeted to a broader audience.
Project Sirius ‘rebooted’
In the past few months, the development of Project Sirius at developer Molasses Flood hit a rough patch that forced the leadership of CDPR to evaluate the project’s commercial potential, and “formulate a new framework for this project”.
Some fans were concerned this could evaluation may lead to a cancellation of the Multiplayer Witcher game, but as it turns out the results of this evaluation seem a bit more positive.
In a recent regulatory announcement, CDPR confirmed “the conclusion of work on defining a new framework for Project Sirius”.
Moreover, it seems that the new framework of Project Sirius will be built around the “material part of the already developed elements of the game by the Molasses Flood”. This means that, though there was an evaluation followed by a new framework for the project, the game is still on track rather than being rebooted entirely.
So what exactly will this “new framework” consist of? Well, it appears that the developer Molasses Flood has been charged with significant layoffs. As reported by Kotaku, it appears that 21 of the US-based developer’s employees were affected by the layoffs, as well as 8 employees situated in Poland.
These layoffs are significant especially because Molasses Flood is not a large studio, with Gamesradar estimating a total of only a few dozen employees. Whether CDPR intends to hire new employees as they set their new course for Project Sirius remains to be seen, although one would imagine developing a major title with such a small workforce will be quite challenging.
While this news of Project Sirius may disappoint the fandom, let’s not forget that there are two more Witcher projects under development at CDPR. For more details on the future of the Witcher franchise in the gaming industry, make sure to read our roundup article from last year.