Unlike previous projects, CD Projekt’s new Witcher game will rely on Epic Games’ technology.
Even before Cyberpunk 2077’s release at the end of 2020, Polish studio CD Projekt RED warned that a new The Witcher video game was in the works, and today those words are given even more weight with the arrival of the first news about the long-awaited The Witcher 4 – the next episode of the new action-adventure-RPG epic set in the literary universe of Andrzej Sapkowski!
The developers of the IP have stressed that the game will mark the beginning of “a new saga” in The Witcher universe, leaving open questions about the story and even the main characters of the game. Speaking about the new technology, CD Projekt said, “This is an exciting moment as we’re moving from REDengine to Unreal Engine 5, beginning a multi-year strategic partnership with Epic Games.”
“This is an exciting moment as we’re moving from REDengine to Unreal Engine 5” – CDPR
“[This agreement] covers not only licensing, but technical development of Unreal Engine 5, as well as potential future versions of Unreal Engine, where relevant.” CD Projekt also stresses that they will “work closely” with Fortnite’s parent company to adapt the technology to the open world of the series. This is a significant change for the Polish studio, which has been using its own graphics technology since the release of The Witcher 2: Assassin of Kings in 2011.
“It’s vital for CDPR to have a very clear technical direction from the earliest stages of development,” said the studio’s technical director Pawel Zawodny, making it clear that this agreement is about maximum collaboration. “In the past, we have invested a lot of resources and energy in the development and adaptation of REDengine, along with all the games that preceded it,” he continues. “This collaboration is fascinating because it increases the efficiency of development while giving us access to next-generation technologies.”
The head of Epic Games also welcomed the agreement. “Epic designed UE 5 to enable teams to create dynamic, open worlds with unprecedented fidelity and scale,” said Tim Sweeney. “We are deeply honored to be working with CD Projekt RED to push the boundaries of interactive storytelling and gameplay.” “This effort,” he concludes, “will benefit the developer community for years to come.”
What about Cyberpunk 2077?
Alongside the statement announcing the development of the new The Witcher, CD Projekt has clarified that Cyberpunk 2077 expansions will continue to rely on REDengine technology. The announcement makes sense, given that changing the entire technical side of a video game is not an easy change to make, but the most important thing about the announcement is that CD Projekt has made it clear that they are still working on these add-ons, despite some rumours that they have been cancelled.
Unfortunately, however, all information regarding the release date and content of the add-ons is still up in the air. On the other hand… what about the next-gen version of The Witcher 3? After the announcement, CD Projekt is currently silent on whether it will come to PS5 and Xbox Series X/S.
Source: CD Projekt RED