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Promising CRPG Unforetold: Witchstone is stopping development

Spearhead Games laying off the majority of its team
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Spearhead Games, the indie developer behind the ambitious and promising CRPG Unforetold: Witchstone, announced that it would lay off the majority of its staff and half its work on the title after the next update on March 8, 2024.

“The past few weeks have been challenging, as the combined impact of financial prospects that did not materialize have put us in a difficult position,” the company stated in a post on the game’s social media account, announcing that “further production” on the CRPG would hold “indefinitely” after the next update.

“It further saddens us that due to these financial circumstances, we have had to make the tough decision to lay off the majority of our team,” the statement continued.

Unforetold: Witchstone screenshot showing a party of adventurers entering an inn.

Work on Unforetold: Witchstone will halt on March 8, 2024.

Atul Mehra and Malik Boukhira, the Spearhead Games co-founders, went on to thank their staff and called on fellow studios in the Montreal area to hire those affected by the layoffs. While the prospects for Spearhead Games don’t look great, it seems like the co-founders aren’t willing to give up completely just yet, asking people for “patience as we navigate through this transition period and find ways to rebuild again.”

Unforetold: Witchstone launched with little fanfare into Early Access on January 25, 2024. Going by the reviews found on Steam, users seemed to agree on the great potential of the game with many lauding its interesting world and general gameplay mechanics. However, the game is also fraught with bugs and teething issues like UI problems, which dragged scores down quite a bit. Buyers had hoped that the team would get the chance to polish and work more on the CRPG to allow it to live up to its promise.

Reaching a peak of merely 109 concurrent users on Steam, it seems like the studio wasn’t able to attract enough of an initial player base to fund continued development, as is the purpose of the Early Access business model.

It’s easy to forget in the face of successes like Baldur’s Gate 3 and Warhammer 40,000: Rogue Trader, but CRPGs remain a niche genre in which success is by far not guaranteed.