CD Projekt warns of layoffs as The Witcher: Monster Slayer is being closed in 2023

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CD Projekt has announced that The Witcher: Monster Slayer (opens in new tab), the Pokémon Go-like game of monster hunting that debuted last year, is being shut down. Anyone still playing has got some time yet to walk the Path before the end comes, though, as the closure won't actually happen until June 30, 2023.

"We are proud that we were able to create a location-based AR experience that captured what it was like to be a witcher in real life and gave the community a chance to battle Witcher-world monsters up close and in person," the development team said in the shutdown announcement (opens in new tab). "This is what made The Witcher: Monster Slayer such a unique experience in The Witcher franchise.

"We are very thankful for sharing all of this with such an amazing and passionate community from all over the world. This journey, filled with quests, events, and adventure, would not have been possible without you—together, we defeated over 100 million monsters worldwide, after all!"

The Witcher: Monster Slayer will remain on the App Store and Google Play until January 31, 2023, but no further content, including new monsters, armor, quests, timed and daily tasks or events, will be added. Real-money transactions in the in-game shop will be disabled, but players will still be able to purchase items using whatever in-game currency they still have kicking around. On June 30, 2023, everything goes offline for good.

Monster Slayer looked potentially interesting when we got our first look (opens in new tab) at it last year, but ultimately didn't deliver on its promise. Senior editor Wes Fenlon described it as "boring and disappointing (opens in new tab)" after spending some time roaming around with it shortly after launch: "Basically, Monster Slayer takes lots of things I like from The Witcher 3 and puts them in a game that I have no interest in actually playing," he wrote. Others apparently felt the same way, as CD Projekt said the game "did not reach" its business expectations.

The Witcher: Monster Slayer will be the second CD Projekt game to be closed in 2023: The studio announced yesterday that the Witcher-based CCG Gwent will also end development at the end of 2023, although CD Projekt hopes that the community will take over (opens in new tab) and keep the wheels turning.

As for Monster Slayer developer Spokko, which CD Projekt acquired in 2018, it too is being shuttered. CD Projekt said some Spokko employees will be offered positions elsewhere in the company, but added that "there will be some staff members who will, unfortunately, be let go." It did not specify how many employees will be laid off as a result of the studio closure.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.