The Witcher Remake: Unreal Engine 5, announcement, development and more

the witcher remake
(Image credit: CD Projekt Red)

The Witcher Remake is one of those projects that’s exactly what it sounds like. Polish developer CD Projekt Red is currently in the process of reimagining The Witcher (2007) from the ground up, and every few weeks, we learn another interesting tidbit about the upcoming game. While information on The Witcher Remake is pretty scarce so far, we’ve gathered everything we know so far on this page.

For those who haven’t heard, CD Projekt Red announced The Witcher Remake back in October 2022, and provided a few key pieces of information. The game is currently in development; the company is working with another Polish studio called Fool’s Theory; the developers are using the powerful Unreal Engine 5. We’ve also learned more recently that The Witcher Remake will be open-world, unlike the original title.

One important caveat is about The Witcher Remake’s release date. While gamers are dying to know when the highly anticipated remake will debut, CD Projekt hasn’t offered any hints whatsoever. As such, we can’t offer any intelligent speculation on The Witcher Remake’s release date, other than to say we probably won’t see it for a while. Once we hear something substantial, however, we’ll update this piece with a detailed “release date” section.

The Witcher Remake: Unreal Engine 5

the witcher 3

(Image credit: CD Projekt Red)

CD Projekt Red is developing The Witcher Remake in Unreal Engine 5, and fans seem to be pretty excited about it. In theory, this means that the game will have realistic graphics, satisfying physics and, perhaps most importantly, nuanced lighting.

Without going into an extensive history lesson about the Unreal Engine, it’s a game development tool that’s been around the late ‘90s. (No points for guessing that the first-person shooter Unreal was one of the first games to use the engine.) Since then, the engine has grown beyond first-person shooters, providing the basis for everything from the PC adaptation of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, to Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade. It’s a versatile tool that can make some terrific games.

It's also perhaps worth noting that none of the previous Witcher games used the Unreal Engine, relying instead on an in-house tool called REDengine instead.

Unreal Engine 5 debuted in 2020, and Epic Games showed it off with a bespoke demo called Lumen in the Land of Nanite. Nanite is a hallmark feature of Unreal Engine 5, allowing games to quickly render objects with nearly photorealistic quality. Similarly, Lumen is an Unreal Engine 5 tool that dynamically adjusts lighting options to portray reflections and shadows more accurately.

We can’t say exactly how The Witcher Remake will employ Unreal Engine 5 until we see some gameplay footage. But hopefully, we won’t have to wait too long for that.

The Witcher Remake: Announcement

the witcher 2

(Image credit: CD Projekt Red)

CD Projekt Red formally announced The Witcher Remake on October 26, 2022. The announcement post is pretty short, running just four paragraphs and detailing the basics. The game will run on Unreal Engine 5; Fool’s Theory will help develop, and has many former Witcher developers working there; The Witcher Remake is called “Canis Majoris” in-house; it’s going to take a while for the game to be done.

The most detailed part of the post is a statement from Adam Badowski, the head of studio for CD Projekt Red:

“The Witcher is where it all started for us, for CD PROJEKT RED. It was the first game we made, ever, and it was a big moment for us then. Going back to this place and remaking the game for the next generation of gamers to experience it feels just as big, if not bigger.

“Collaborating with Fool’s Theory on the project is just as exciting, as some of the people there have been previously involved in The Witcher games. They know the source material well, they know how much gamers have been looking forward to seeing the remake happen, and they know how to make incredible and ambitious games. And although it will take some time before we’re ready to share more about and from the game, I know it’ll be worth the wait.”

The post is also open for comments, which run the gamut from excitement over revisiting a classic game, to exhaustion with an existing story in a well-worn franchise. Whether you feel pumped or skeptical about The Witcher Remake (a little of both, for this writer), chances are good that someone else out there agrees with you.

The Witcher Remake: Development

the witcher

(Image credit: CD Projekt Red)

As the project continues, we’ll be able to chart The Witcher Remake’s development. So far, most of what we know is from the announcement post, which shared a few key points:

  • CD Projekt Red and Fool’s Theory are collaborating on The Witcher Remake
  • The game will be a ground-up reimagining of the original Witcher title from 2007
  • The developers are creating the game in Unreal Engine 5
  • The project’s production name is “Canis Majoris”
  • The Witcher Remake is “currently in the early stages of development”

On November 29, we also learned from a CD Projekt Red financial presentation that the game will be a “story-driven, single-player open-world RPG — a modern reimagining of 2007’s The Witcher.” The “open-world” descriptor is interesting, since it’s already a big departure from the discrete levels in the original game. The “modern reimagining” is also telling, since it gives CD Projekt Red some leeway to change things rather than produce a shot-by-shot remake.

That’s about all we know about The Witcher Remake so far. Stay tuned to Tom’s Guide, and we’ll add more information as it becomes available.

Marshall Honorof

Marshall Honorof is a senior editor for Tom's Guide, overseeing the site's coverage of gaming hardware and software. He comes from a science writing background, having studied paleomammalogy, biological anthropology, and the history of science and technology. After hours, you can find him practicing taekwondo or doing deep dives on classic sci-fi.