CD Projekt-owned development studio The Molasses Flood has reportedly been hit by layoffs, following a major rescope of its in-development Witcher spin-off. As of March 2023, the game was reportedly on hold as a re-evaluation of its potential success forced a strategic realignment.
In early May 2023, this was reported to be a success, with CD Projekt and The Molasses Flood finalising a ‘new framework’ as they continued to develop the game known as ‘Project Sirius’. However, while this suggested positive growth, it appears the process has taken a human toll.
Following news of a successful game rework, several former Molasses Flood developers took to Twitter to announce their redundancies. As surfaced by Eurogamer, these layoffs included technical narrative designer Robert Bailey, environment artist Eleanore Falck, senior environment artist and world builder Gannon Jasper, and art producer Caryn M. Boehm.
CD Projekt later confirmed these layoffs to multiple media outlets, including VGC.
‘Because the project changed, so has the composition of the team that’s working on it – mainly on The Molasses Flood’s side,’ a CD Projekt spokesperson reportedly said. They further confirmed the layoffs included 29 employees – some from the United States, and some from Poland.
As Eurogamer notes, The Molasses Flood is a relatively small studio, who first came to attention with their survival title, The Flame in the Flood. Those 29 redundancies will likely impact daily operations significantly, as well as work on the upcoming Witcher spin-off.
For now, it’s unclear what form the upcoming game will take, given the team has seemingly undergone major changes. At the time of announcement, Project Sirius was described as a ‘single-player and multiplayer’ game that would appeal to a ‘broader audience’ but it’s unknown if this vague edict has changed in recent months.
Our thoughts are with those impacted by The Molasses Flood layoffs.