A new video game in The Witcher fantasy RPG series was announced today by Polish studio CD Projekt RED.
This is the first official word on a new game in the series since the release of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt back in 2015. (Can you believe it’s been so long? I feel old).
There are next to no details about the game currently. We have the above teaser image with the tagline A New Saga Begins, which we can infer a few things from.
First, a new saga suggests a totally new series of games rather than just one. This won’t be The Witcher 4, in other words. Based on what CDPR has said in the past, I doubt it will star Geralt of Rivia as its lead Witcher, or feature the same cast of characters at all. Perhaps it will take place in a different timeline.
We do have a couple more important details. First, this new saga is leaving the REDEngine behind. CDPR is moving to Unreal Engine 5 for the next Witcher games, and this is apparently much more than a new licensing deal. The studio will be collaborating closely with Epic Games on the next games in this series.
“One of the core aspects of our internal RED 2.0 Transformation is a much stronger focus on technology, and our cooperation with Epic Games is based on this principle,” said CTO of CD PROJEKT RED, Paweł Zawodny in a statement. “From the outset, we did not consider a typical licensing arrangement; both we and Epic see this as a long-term, fulfilling tech partnership. It is vital for CD PROJEKT RED to have the technical direction of our next game decided from the earliest possible phase as; in the past, we spent a lot of resources and energy to evolve and adapt REDengine with every subsequent game release. This cooperation is so exciting, because it will elevate development predictability and efficiency, while simultaneously granting us access to cutting-edge game development tools. I can’t wait for the great games we’re going to create using Unreal Engine 5!”
Epic’s Founder and CEO Tim Sweeney added:
“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.”
The REDEngine will continue to be used for the upcoming Cyberpunk 2077 expansion, but it appears the studio will leave it behind moving forward and adopt Unreal Engine 5 for all its subsequent releases, which is probably for the best. I suspect we will see less buggy releases with CDPR’s future titles, especially given how close this collaboration with Epic Games, the creators of the Unreal Engine, appears to be.
The next Witcher games will also be open-world, like The Witcher 3, which I have mixed feelings about. I liked the branching-linear approach to The Witcher 2 and felt like CDPR went a little generic with Witcher 3’s open world approach. All those checkmarks all over the map! Perhaps the success of Elden Ring will help convince more open-world developers to be more ambitious and less formulaic with future releases.
There is no release date, though I suspect we will have to wait a very long time for whatever the next game in the series ends up being—though this whole Epic partnership probably means Geralt is headed to Fortnite sometime in the not-so-distant future. And yeah, I’d probably buy that skin.
(Probably some sort of Epic Game Store deal, too, though I’m not sure they could get exclusivity when CDPR owns their own storefront, GOG.com. We shall see!)
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