Cyberpunk 2077 and The Witcher 3 studio CD Projekt Red is laying off roughly 100 workers — 9% of its staff — due to what it describes as overstaffing. Despite several projects in development, including games related to The Witcher, Cyberpunk, and new franchises, CD Projekt CEO Adam Kiciński said in a blog post that the company has “carefully assessed” its needs leading into the next year and will not have work for the impacted people in 2024.
The layoffs will continue into 2024’s first fiscal quarter. “We want team members to have ample time to process and adjust to the change, and we’ve also made sure to offer everyone a comprehensive severance package,” Kiciński said.
To meet our own high expectations and ambitions to create the best role-playing games, we not only want to have the best people but also the right teams. What we mean by that is having teams that are built around our projects’ needs; teams that are more agile and more effective. At this point in time, we’re certain that for CD PROJEKT RED to grow, we need to be consistent in implementing that approach.
Kiciński claims that these “several deep transformations” within the company will ensure that CD Projekt Red makes good games that meet schedules without “undue” crunch. The layoffs are estimated to cost CD Projekt 4.5 million PLN, or roughly $1.1 million in costs, including severance payments, the company said in a notice to investors.
CD Projekt Red is making these job cuts in addition to the 30 layoffs that were announced in May. The 30 people working on Gwent: The Witcher Card Game were informed that they’d be laid off before the end of 2023. The company will no longer support Gwent, which was spun out of The Witcher 3, and pass support over to the game’s community. The company also laid off nearly 30 developers in May, largely at Boston-based The Molasses Flood, who were working on a multiplayer Witcher spinoff. That layoff was preceded by CD Projekt shutting down The Witcher: Monster Slayer, a mobile game led by CD Projekt subsidiary Spokko, with reported layoffs.
CD Projekt came into 2023 on a high, reporting its second-highest revenue and net profit in company history, according to financial reports. Net profits for the company reached 347 million PLN, or roughly $86 million, from its 953 million PLN, or $238 million, in revenue. Though Cyberpunk 2077 had a notoriously rocky launch, the studio quickly bounced back financially. Cyberpunk 2077’s anticipated Phantom Liberty expansion is expected to launch on Sept. 26.