CD Projekt Red explains the big change for The Witcher 4

Back on March 21, CD Projekt Red announced a new Witcher game, provisionally doubled The Witcher 4 via the internet, although CDPR insists that this is not an official title for the game. At this time, there is no word on platforms, release date or date of disclosure. All we know about the game is that it will run on Unreal Engine 5 which is a major change for the series like previous games including The Witcher 3, ran on CD Projekt Red’s in-house engine. An engine change may not seem like a major change, but it is. The game will basically play and look different in a different engine. The question is, will this change be for the better? Well, CD Projekt Red seems to think so.

According to CD Projekt Red, Unreal Engine 5 represents a move to open-world support by Epic Games, which is why it caught the developer’s attention as it primarily builds large open-world games. On top of that, it seems the stability offered by the engine was a big draw after the Cyberpunk 2077 start a disaster. CD Projekt Red has hinted at it in the past – and we’ve heard it ourselves through the grapevine – but the biggest problem Cyberpunk 2077 during development is that changing or fixing one thing regularly broke other aspects of the game, creating a very tedious and almost never-ending process.

CD Projekt Red also addresses the fact that the engine is super nimble and user-friendly to use due to the endless testing and feedback that Unreal Engine receives from the sheer fact that so many teams use it.

It’s not specified in the video, but it’s also worth noting that using Unreal Engine 5 will significantly reduce the time it takes to onboard new employees. One of the problems with having your own in-house engine, which CD Projekt Red had until now, is that no one but those already in the studio knows how to use it, which is a major problem in an industry constantly rolling.

Again, it remains to be seen what benefits Unreal Engine 5 will bring to CD Projekt Red games, but it’s hard to see a downside on the consumer side. From a commercial point of view, licensing an engine is very expensive, but this is not a concern for consumers.

Jack L. Goldstein