Update: The Witcher 3 next-gen update is now slated for a Q4 2022 release.
CD Projekt Red has begun developing the next installment of The Witcher video game series. Considering the massive success of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt and its expansions, it’s not surprising that a sequel is in the works. What is surprising is that the company will develop the game on Unreal Engine 5 as part of a partnership with Epic Games.
Pawl Zawodny, who is the CTO of CD Projekt Red, said in a press release (opens in new tab) that part of the team’s internal RED 2.0 transformation is a stronger focus on technology. In the past, CDPR spent time and energy evolving and adapting its proprietary REDengine with every release (The Witcher and Cyberpunk 2077). Working with Epic Games’ Unreal Engine 5 will ease game development and make it more efficient, says Zawodny.
Tim Sweeney, founder and CEO of Epic Games, said: "Epic has been building Unreal Engine 5 to enable teams to create dynamic open worlds at an unprecedented scale and level of fidelity. We are deeply honored by the opportunity to partner with CD PROJEKT RED to push the limits of interactive storytelling and gameplay together, and this effort will benefit the developer community for years to come."
CDPR hasn’t completely abandoned the REDengine, however, as the engine will still be used for the upcoming Cyberpunk 2077 expansion.
As we said up top, a new The Witcher game was inevitable. Not only have the previous games (particularly The Witcher 3) been hugely popular, but Netflix’s The Witcher series has also received similar critical acclaim. It’s obviously too early to talk about what we can expect from the next Witcher. It may be several years before we see any actual gameplay.
With that said, it will be interesting to see how an official game announcement is received. CDPR became an industry darling due to how much people loved The Witcher 3. But after the Cyberpunk 2077 fiasco, there could be a lot of skeptics. But, if the new Witcher is solid, I’m sure most gamers will forgive the company.