CDPROJEKTRED hasn't worked on the Witcher since the DLC for Witcher 3, and even the upcoming Witcher 3 remaster is being worked on by Sable Interactive, who handled the Witcher's Nintendo Switch port. However, CDPROJEKTRED has finally announced a new Witcher game, and not just a game, games. In this article, we'll explain the Witcher 4 news: CDPROJEKTRED announcing new Witcher games and switching to Unreal Engine 5.
CDPROJEKTRED Announces New Witcher Saga
Witcher 3: Wild Hunt was very much positioned as the 'final' game in the Witcher trilogy by CDPROJEKTRED. When the game finally released, and after the DLC dropped, Witcher 3: Wild Hunt felt like Geralt's swan song, like the end of the Witcher games as we've known them.
But CDPROJEKTRED has never abandoned the franchise, hinting that they would return, in a new way, someday. For years, leaks suggested Witcher 4 was being planned with Ciri as the main character. But nothing was officially confirmed as Cyberpunk's development kicked into high gear.
Now, things are finally changing. CDPROJEKTRED has announced an entirely new Witcher saga on top of them working on the next Witcher game. You read that right. The next game isn't Witcher 4, it's a new Witcher experience, and this new game will be the beginning of a new Witcher saga.
If we think of the first three Witcher games as the first saga of the franchise, this next game will kickstart the next saga of the franchise, which could be a trilogy of games. We don't yet know what saga actually entails in terms of the number of games.
It's clear that Geralt won't be returning for this new Witcher game, but we don't yet know if the rumors were right and Ciri will be the next game's main character. Many also speculate the next Witcher game could be more of a traditional RPG, like Cyberpunk, that had players make their own characters.
It's also unclear if new Witcher games will be set in the same universe as the first trilogy of games. Since Witcher 3, the show has been released and over a decade will have passed by the time a new Witcher game releases since the launch of Witcher 3, so CDPROJEKTRED may want to reboot the franchise and move away from the worlds of the books, the older games, and the show by creating a new Witcher world.
On the other hand, CDPROJEKTRED may set the next Witcher game in the same universe as Witcher 3 after the events of that game with a new main character or the ability to make your own character. After all, a hallmark of the franchise is decisions you've made in earlier games meaning something in later games.
We don't know much in the way about details, and it's important to remember a new Witcher game is a long way off. CDPROJEKTRED is still working on Cyberpunk, Cyberpunk DLC, maybe even Cyberpunk multiplayer, and then the company has other games and projects on top of that.
Accordingly, only a small portion of the studio is working on Witcher right now, and we won't see a new game for years and years yet, so don't start expecting big reveals anytime soon. Plus, since Cyberpunk, it's almost guaranteed that the studio's next game will be revealed a lot closer to launch.
CDPROJEKTRED Switchs to Unreal Engine 5 for New Witcher Saga
Alongside the announcement of a new Witcher saga of games came the announcement that CDPROJEKTRED would not be using their proprietary Red Engine for these new Witcher games that powered the old Witcher games alongside Cyberpunk 2077 and will instead use Unreal Engine 5.
This news came as a bit of a shock to the gaming world, especially since Cyberpunk 2077 is one of the most technically advanced games ever made, but after some closer examination, the move makes a lot of sense.
CDPROJEKTRED hasn't upgraded their developmental tools for building Witcher games since before Witcher 3 was released in 2015, which is now 7 years ago. They've spent the last 7 years completely overhauling their engine to power a sci-fi first-person shooter set in a huge, dense metropolitan area, not working on an engine that could work for a fantasy RPG.
The studio has been, in effect, overhauling their tech for nearly a decade in a half, upgrading their tech to create Witcher 3 and upgrading it again to make Cyberpunk. This, naturally, takes tons of developmental time and lots of resources, and no doubt the engineering staff at CDPROJEKTRED are tired after many years of crunching.
Keeping the Red Engine for Cyberpunk, Cyberpunk DLC, and future Cyberpunk games makes sense, especially considering how much money CDPROJEKTRED has invested in the Red Engine over the years. But moving to Unreal Engine 5, which has a lot of support and is being actively developed, for Witcher makes a lot of sense so the studio doesn't have to yet again rebuild their engine to work for their latest project.