CD PROJEKT RED today revealed that the next installment in The Witcher series of video games is currently in development with Unreal Engine 5, beginning a new saga for the franchise and a new technology partnership with Epic Games.
Today’s announcement marks the first official confirmation of a new game in The Witcher series since the release of CD PROJEKT RED’s previous single-player, AAA RPG in the franchise – The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt – which won a total of 250 Game of the Year awards and was later expanded with the Hearts of Stone and Blood & Wine add-ons.
The teaser image for the new game features a medallion accompanied by the phrase A New Saga Begins. Other than this initial confirmation of a new saga in The Witcher franchise, no further details, such as a development timetable or release date, were provided.
CD PROJEKT RED also announced that they will be moving to Unreal Engine 5 as part of its multi-year strategic partnership with Epic Games. Since The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings released in 2011, CD PROJEKT RED has used their proprietary REDengine technology to build their games. This new relationship with Epic includes not only licensing, but technical development of Unreal Engine 5, as well as possible future versions of Unreal Engine, where relevant. Developers from CD PROJEKT RED will partner with those from Epic with the primary goal of helping to align the engine for open-world experiences, beginning with development of the next game in The Witcher franchise.
Speaking about using Unreal Engine 5 for this and future games, CD PROJEKT RED CTO Paweł Zawodny said:
One of the core aspects of our internal RED 2.0 transformation is a much stronger focus on technology, and our partnership with Epic Games is built on this principle. From the outset, we didn’t consider a typical licensing arrangement; both we and Epic see this as a long-term, satisfying technical partnership. It is vital for CD PROJEKT RED that the technical direction of our next game be determined from the earliest possible stage as; in the past we have put a lot of resources and energy into developing and customizing REDengine with each subsequent game release. This partnership is so exciting because it will increase the predictability and efficiency of development, while at the same time giving us access to advanced game development tools. Can’t wait for the amazing games we’ll be making with Unreal Engine 5!
Tim Sweeney, founder and CEO of Epic Games, commented on the partnership:
“Epic built Unreal Engine 5 to enable teams to create dynamic open worlds at unprecedented scale and fidelity. We are deeply honored to have the opportunity to partner with CD PROJEKT RED to push the boundaries of interactive storytelling and gameplay together, and this effort will benefit the developer community for years to come.”
Coinciding with these announcements, CD PROJEKT RED also confirmed that REDengine, the technology powering Cyberpunk 2077, is still being used for the development of the upcoming Cyberpunk 2077 expansion.