Update: CD Projekt Red has clarified to The Escapist that the multiplayer Witcher Project Sirius is currently being “reassessed” and has not been restarted. The original article follows.
Cyberpunk 2077 and The Witcher franchise developer CD Projekt Red says its Boston studio, The Molasses Flood, has not canceled its upcoming Witcher single-player and multiplayer game, Project Sirius, but it has restarted development (via IGN). CD Projekt Red CEO Adam Kiciński discussed in a recent earnings call Q&A how the spinoff fits in with the grander Witcher universe. He explained that the project has been a learning process, leading to the team’s decision to “reevaluate” some game elements.
“So, this is a project which is, I would say, insourced,” Kiciński said. “It’s also new to us in terms of design and format. For those reasons, it’s very different from the big productions we are known for. To stay competitive, we have to keep looking for new ways to extend our franchises. At the same time, we need to be ready to reevaluate our original concepts, even if the development work is already underway.”
Earlier this month, CD Projekt Red had announced that it was reevaluating the Witcher multiplayer game at The Molasses Flood and had filed an impairment charge as a result. An impairment charge is filed by a business when it determines that certain assets – Project Sirius, in this case – lose value. It’s a move that signaled the studio wasn’t satisfied with the state of Project Sirius, leading to rumors of its potential cancellation. Now we know that the multiplayer Witcher game is not canceled but just restarted, meaning The Molasses Flood will try again to realize its vision for Project Sirius.
“It was a tough decision to make, but we also believe it was the right one,” Kiciński said of filing the impairment charge. “Our intention was to cut costs early and give ourselves time for reassessment. We don’t want to carry on with projects that we are not aligned with.”
Project Sirius is part of a broader plan for CD Projekt Red’s bestselling Witcher series. In addition to stories being told in other mediums, such as Netflix’s The Witcher show, fans can expect a number of video games set in that universe. That includes Project Polaris, which will take place over a new trilogy of releases, and Project Canis Majoris, which is being made with Unreal Engine 5 and is “built on the legacy” of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. An original Witcher remake is on the way, too. All of these games – especially Project Sirius – are far off from release, so it will be quite some time before we get a clearer picture of what’s in store.