CD Projekt RED announced over a year ago that it has dropped its internal RED Engine and is shifting its entire development pipeline to Unreal Engine 5, with the next main body of The Witcher games, codenamed Project Polaris, to be the studio’s first game built on Epic Games’ development toolset. In a recent earnings conference, CD Projekt CEO Adam Kiciński addressed that topic and offered more insight into how that decision will help the studio move forward.
According to Kiciński, the studio is still working to familiarize itself with the new engine, but while development of Polaris itself has not accelerated following the switch to the engine, it will apparently “facilitate production for the sequels.” Indeed, Kiciński says the switch to Unreal Engine 5 is a big reason why CD Projekt RED previously said it plans to launch the entire new trilogy of The Witcher games within six years of each other.
“We are preparing things on the pipeline side and the toolset side. Some developers are still learning the technology of Unreal Engine 5, and at the same time teams are working with Epic on all the aspects needed for our open-world, story-driven RPGs,” he said (via Wccftech). “For the first project, Polaris, it will definitely … maybe not accelerate, but it will speed up the [ontwikkelings]processes not slow down. But for subsequent projects, we assume it will facilitate production. That was one of the reasons for saying we want to release three big Witcher games within six years, starting with the release of Polaris, which is The Witcher 4.”
In May last year, CDPR confirmed that The Witcher 4 was already in pre-production, with more than 100 people working on it, and that the switch to Unreal Engine 5 had already resulted in improved development efficiency.
In fact, The Witcher Remake, which will be a fully open-world game, is also being developed on Unreal Engine 5 by Fool’s Theory in collaboration with CD Projekt RED and is expected to launch after Project Polaris.