Witchfire, the upcoming horror-esque shooter from The Vanishing of Ethan Carter developer The Astronauts, has been delayed to early 2023. According to the studio, the extra time needed in development is to facilitate the game’s shift from linear levels to an open-world.
The Astronauts delivered the news on a recent blog post, championing the idea to move to an open-world design for Witchfire. However, such a drastic shift requires extra development time hence the decision to delay the game out of its planned 2022 window. Originally, players would’ve tackled the game as an arena-styled shooter like Doom. It’s now being shifted to accommodate an open-world.
Witchfire creative director and studio co-founder Adrian Chmielarz explained why the studio decided to delay Witchfire and what the open-world change will bring:
“The feature is now 95% implemented. It makes the game better. It is kind of hard for me to imagine the player did not have that freedom before. You can still be trapped by the witch in this or that spot, and some doors will be closed until you find a key, and it might be too dangerous to enter areas closer to the boss before you are ready, but the world is wide open for you to explore in almost any order, and you can both push forward and retreat as you please.”
Witchfire was originally revealed all the way back in 2017. It was intended to release in early access in late 2022, but will instead release in early 2023 (as an early access title too). The game was eventually re-revealed during Summer Game Fest 2022 showing off the dark fantasy setting, refined gameplay and ghoulish enemies.
Witchfire will now launch in early 2023 for PC. There’s no word yet on if it will launch on consoles, but like Prodeus, it will likely find its way to other platforms once it leaves early access.
Source: The Astronauts