CD Projekt Red (CDPR) has announced that an untitled new The Witcher game — let’s call it The Witcher 4 — is in development using Unreal Engine 5 (UE5). This is also the beginning of a new strategic partnership between CD Projekt Red and Unreal Engine 5 developer Epic Games.
The partnership includes licensing, technical development of UE5, and “potential future versions of Unreal Engine, where relevant.” Basically, CDPR and Epic Games will work closely to make the former’s games perform better on UE5, starting with The Witcher 4. However, this does not mean the game will be exclusive to Epic Games Store on PC. The Witcher social media says they do not plan to make the game exclusive to any one storefront. Also, CD Projekt notably already runs the digital storefront GOG.
Since The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings in 2011, CD Projekt Red has used its proprietary REDengine to develop games, up to and including its planned expansion for Cyberpunk 2077. CDPR CTO Paweł Zawodny explained the logic behind shifting to Unreal Engine 5 for The Witcher 4:
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. 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!
There are no story or release window details for The Witcher 4 title yet. However, CDPR did release the new teaser image above, which reads, “A New Saga Begins.” This might imply we should expect a new protagonist and/or perhaps a new era this time around.