CD Projekt has announced, via an “Organisational Update” post on its website, that its laying off around 100 employees at its CD Projekt RED studio – which it says is roughly 9% of the total staff there.
Despite having three major projects in development across The Witcher, Cyberpunk and a new franchise (projects codenamed Polaris, Orion and Hadar respectively), the move is said to be in the name of “[meeting CD Projekt’s] own high expectations and ambitions to create the best role-playing games” with teams that are “that are more agile and more effective.”
This comes after the company laid off nearly 30 employees in May after it essentially rebooted development on Project Sirius, a multiplayer-based The Witcher title in development at The Molasses Flood – a studio it acquired in 2021.
This new round of layoffs will be gradual with some employees reportedly staying on until as late as Q1 2024.
CD Projekt CEO, Adam Kicinski’s full statement announcing the move reads:
“I have some news to share regarding the future shape of our teams and our game development philosophy.
“Those of you familiar with our strategy might remember that we have a lot going on at CD PROJEKT RED. Projects like Polaris (The Witcher franchise), Orion (Cyberpunk franchise), or Hadar (new franchise) are just some of the exciting elements in the future we see for our games. Part of that strategy is an ongoing process of several deep transformations within the studio which we consider key to making quality games, on time and without crunch. After reshaping our development process and incorporating Agile methodologies, we’re now focusing on refining the shape of our teams.
“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.
“We’ve carefully assessed all teams in the company in terms of their expected contribution to the delivery of our strategy. There’s no easy way to say this, but today we are overstaffed. We have talented people on board who are finishing their tasks and — based on current and expected project needs — we already know we don’t have other opportunities for them in the next year. The outcome is the studio parting ways with around 100 people, which is roughly 9% of the entire team. This will not be immediate as some employees will be let go as late as Q1 2024 but, in the spirit of transparency, we’ve chosen to share the information now. 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.
“Finally, I would like to address affected CDPR team members reading this message. Although our paths will diverge professionally, I believe the relationships we have built can remain strong. I encourage you to stay connected and would like to thank you for being an invaluable part of our journey. Your impact will resonate within CD PROJEKT RED and we wish you nothing but success and fulfillment in the next chapter of your professional lives.”