The Vanishing of Ethan Carter Devs Announce New Game “Witchfire”

The Astronauts, the creators of The Vanishing of Ethan Carter, have announced Witchfire, a new dark fantasy FPS at The Game Awards.

The fakeout in the video above is rather amusing, seeming to hint at the game being another walking simulator, before reminding you of the studio’s pedigree in visceral shooter experiences.

Here’s a blog post explaining why the studio is going with a shooter and not another narrative-adventure game:

Our first game was The Vanishing of Ethan Carter, a narrative game for PC and PS4 which won BAFTA’s Game Innovation award, and was nominated for GameSpot’s Best Game of the Year and IGN’s Best PC Game. To date, we have sold over 1 million copies of the game.

The obvious next step is to create another one like this, right? But we really, really want to make a shooter.

That change in direction isn’t anything new for the core team. The three co-owners of The Astronauts were also the co-owners of People Can Fly, as well as the creative leads behind shooters like Painkiller and Bulletstorm.

We love adventure games, and we’ve made some in the past, even before People Can Fly or our The Vanishing of Ethan Carter. Mystery of the Statuette, Teenagent, The Prince and the Coward – all adventure games. As I have already mentioned, we’ve also made a few shooters, Painkiller and Bulletstorm. We have reached for other genres, too. Katharsis was a 2D arcade shooter, Reflux was an RTS, and Gorky 17 was a strategy RPG. There was also a big action adventure called Come Midnight that People Can Fly was making for THQ over ten years ago …but let’s leave that story for another time.

One of the reasons we called the studio The Astronauts was to emphasize the journey to new places. After we made an innovative – we think – narrative game, now we want to make a shooter unlike anything we’ve done before. Can’t wait to bring you along on the ride with us!

According to The Astronauts, the game is still a long way from release, and they’re not announcing any other platforms than PC/Steam. We’ll keep you posted when more information becomes available.

Cody Long


I draw weenies for a living. Also, I write reviews and articles sometimes!

  • AnarKreig

    The trailer genuinely got a chuckle out of me. They knew exactly what they were doing. Glorious bastards.

  • Uncle Ocelot

    That was a great bait and switch

  • Cy

    Would have preferred the walking simulator, honestly. Ethan Carter told a good, emotional story. Painkiller and Bulletstorm bored the hell out of me.

  • Cody Long

    I’m not really a fan of walking simulators as a general rule, but some of them have impressed me. I should play Ethan Carter, still haven’t gotten around to it.

  • TheOnceAndFutureKing

    I like the concept, reminds me of Hexen

  • Mr0303

    Not bad. Nowadays “not a walking simulator” is surprisingly good marketing.

  • Looks prerendered.

  • PenguinPlayer

    Ethan Carter was good and this looks good as well. Will keep my eye on it.

  • RPG

    I am intrigued, and that bait and switch got a genuine laugh out of me. However, I am not buying what I am seeing so far as “gameplay.” It looked pre-rendered.

  • Madbrainbox

    I liked Painkiller and I love Bulletstorm.I have very high hopes for this.

  • Spajeto

    It doesn’t look prerendered at all. They simply use photogrammetry to achieve the realistic look, same as with The Vanishing of Ethan Carter. It should be noted that this method lends itself particularly well for video and screenshots and when it allows you to move around yourself (without video artifacts), it looks a little less smooth.

  • lucben999

    Probably not, The Vanishing of Ethan Carter had a similar look because of the photogrammetry thing they used, this is probably the same.

  • JohnnyCageFan2

    Looks nice, especially that cloud of sand blowing overhead along with the swaying of the tall grass and the overcast weather. But since I’m a pussy, I probably won’t play it though.

  • RPG

    Hmmm, I see. To be honest I have not played The Vanishing of Ethan Carter, so I am not familiar with the graphical techniques utilized in it. That is interesting. Thanks for clearing that up.