CD Projekt Red throws quite a punch: In a press release, they announce that not only is a new The Witcher game in development, but that it will be based on Unreal Engine 5. The in-house RED engine, which has been available in various iterations since The Witcher 2 (2011), is being retired for future games.

The week starts with quite a bang for all fans of CD Projekt Red: In a press release, the Polish developer and publisher has announced a new The Witcher game. The new project in the fantasy world does not yet have a name or a release window, but relies on a game engine that no one expected.

CDPR and Epic enter into multi-year partnership

Since 2011 and thus The Witcher 2, CDPR has been using its in-house RED engine, which is also used in different and further developed versions for The Witcher 2 Enhanced (RED Engine 2), The Witcher 3 (RED Engine 3) and Cyberpunk 2077 (RED Engine 4) was used. This is now over, at least for future projects. As CDPR explains in the press release, together with Epic, Unreal Engine 5 will be further developed for their own needs. Topics such as quests in an open world should play an important role.

What exactly CD Projekt Red intends to do with The Witcher universe is not yet known. However, CDPR has made it clear several times that The Witcher and Cyberpunk are the two big brands and cornerstones for the company. It has long been clear that CD Projekt Red will return to The Witcher, but not in the form of The Witcher 4, since The Witcher is completed as a trilogy. However, at the end of December 2019, the course was set for further Witcher games by agreeing on a new collaboration with the book author Andrzej Sapkowksi.

For Epic, the cooperation with CDPR should be an important gain in prestige. At the end of May 2021, Epic made Unreal Engine 5 Early Access available to interested users for the first time. Since then there have always been impressive demos from external parties and ultimately the UE5 beta for Fortnite from Epic itself - and of course not to forget the extremely impressive UE5 demo The Matrix Awakens and most recently the survival game Rooted with UE5. At the end of February, Preview 1 for the UE5 was released , and the full version is scheduled to appear in the spring. A cooperation with CDPR as a promotion for the engine is just right.

CD Projekt Red should have carefully considered whether to continue developing the RED engine or work with an engine provider like Epic. The effort for the further development of the engine is likely to have increased recently, with the RED Engine 3 it would not have been possible to develop Cyberpunk 2077 because of features such as first person or the verticality of the game world . The problems with backwards compatibility with old consoles may also have played a role in the decision. PaweĊ‚ Zawodny, CDPR's CTO, at least admits that "in the past, a lot of resources and energy have been devoted to further developing and adapting the REDengine with each subsequent game release

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