During CD Projekt’s financial conference call for investors and analysts, the company’s executives talked about the upcoming move to Unreal Engine 5 for the next Witcher game, on top of the next-gen version of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt.
CEO Adam Kiciński answered a specific question during the livestream about whether the move to Unreal Engine 5 would make development faster. He mentioned that Epic’s engine is a proven technology so production should be smoother but not necessarily faster. While it’s hard to say now, the developer expects the processes to be under better control and more focused on the creative side.
That being said, we should bear in mind that the deal requires development on CD Projekt’s side as well as specialists of open-world RPGs working together with Epic on some areas of the technology to make it perfect for this kind of game.
According to CD Projekt’s expertise, Unreal Engine 5 is perfectly fine to run open-world games, and the developer thinks it can help make it even better.
On top of that, there are many more developers specialized in Unreal Engine than developers experienced with Red Engine, so CD Projekt sees the move to the new engine as an opportunity to enlarge their teams by hiring more experienced developers.
The CD Projekt executive team also clarified that press “insinuations” that the next-gen version of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is in development hell or that it’s been delayed for a long are inaccurate. All the developer is saying is that they have taken development back in-house and evaluating the release timing requires a bit of internal investigation. “Nobody” is saying that it’s delayed or that they’re looking at a “monumental time gap” for release.
Incidentally, the reason behind the decision to bring development back in-house was indicated as “recommendations from the developers in charge of the project.”
Asked about how many developers will be required to finish the development of the next-gen version of the game, Kiciński answered “not many,” mentioning that it’s going to be a team of about 15.
If you’d like to learn more, you can check out our dedicated article about CD Projekt’s financial results, including an update on sales for both Cyberpunk 2077 and The Witcher franchise.