This story will need a bit of a primer before we get into the details of the headline, so let’s review: Last October, CD Projekt Red had outlined a particularly optimistic roadmap of new games projects, including one codenamed Project Sirius, a part-solo , part-multiplayer take on The Witcher being developed by The Molasses Flood, a studio that CDPR had acquired in April 2022. This past March, however, CDPR had financially written off over $7M in costs related to Project Sirius as the company “[evaluated] the scope and commercial potential of the original concept of Project Sirius” while also promising “ongoing work on formulating a new framework for this project.”
It’s the completion of that “new framework” for Sirius that has now seen developers at Molasses Flood get handed their walking papers last week, with a total of 29 employees being laid off – 21 working in the US and eight in Poland who were working on the project. This represents a pretty big chunk of the game’s developer headcount, which had only about 60 people working on the project when it was announced last year.
“Because the project changed, so has the composition of the team that’s working on it – mainly on The Molasses Flood’s side,” a CDPR spokesperson is quoted as saying. CDPR hasn’t offered any additional comment, so we’re not sure if the planned multiplayer portion of Sirius is still in the pipeline, though the aforementioned changes to the project itself and its framework would suggest that something is being cut away.
The removal of planned multiplayer is certainly not without previous; readers will remember that a multiplayer component for Cyberpunk 2077which was called a “standalone product” at the time, languished for a long while until those plans were ultimately focused.