CD Projekt Red announces New Witcher Saga in development on Unreal Engine 5

CD Projekt Red has announced that they’re beginning work on the next instalment of The Witcher franchise, ushering in the beginning of a new saga.

The game marks a departure from CD Projekt Red’s in-house REDengine, used on previous Witcher games and their most recent title, Cyberpunk 2077, in favour of Unreal Engine 5, thanks to a new multi-year strategic partnership with Epic Games.

This partnership “covers not only licensing, but technical development of Unreal Engine 5, as well as potential future versions of Unreal Engine,” noting the last point is only “where relevant,” and that CD Projekt Red likely doesn’t have any insight into the next version of Unreal Engine just yet.

Given that Unreal Engine 5 is due for full release this year, and its previous iteration, creatively-named Unreal Engine 4, was originally released eight years ago, in 2014, it is likely that the next Witcher game will come out on Unreal Engine 5, while any subsequent titles are released on newer versions.

Given that CD Projekt Red has been seeing longer and longer development cycles–Cyberpunk 2077 took roughly seven years to build from the ground up, while The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt took under four–we’ll see if the team’s cadence continues to increase as game worlds become larger and more detailed, though Unreal Engine’s systems are sure to help with efficiency in coding and execution to lower development time.

As expected, CD Projekt Red have made it very clear that “no further details regarding the game — such as a development time frame or release date — are available,” which is to be expected given their entire team has been hard at work patching and updating Cyberpunk 2077 for next generation consoles. The developer is also working on DLC for their most recent title, stating, “REDengine, the technology which powers Cyberpunk 2077, is still being used for the development of the upcoming Cyberpunk 2077 expansion.”

The new Witcher saga begins … when it’s ready.