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CD Projekt will swap REDengine for Unreal Engine 5 to create the next Witcher saga

CD Projekt has signed a "multi-year strategic partnership" with Epic as it seeks to leverage Unreal Engine 5.

Polish studio CD Projekt has confirmed it's working on the next instalment in The Witcher series.

The company said the project will begin "a new saga for the franchise," and explained development will be shifting from its proprietary REDengine to Unreal Engine 5 as part of a "multi-year strategic partnership with Epic Games."

That's a notable pivot given CD Projekt has leveraged REDengine to develop the bulk of its major projects, including Cyberpunk: 2077, The Witcher 3, and The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings.

The studio explained it wants to move away from REDengine -- which it built to replace the Aurora Engine the company licensed from BioWare to create The Witcher -- to make life easier for its dev team, who've had to spend an increasing amount of time and resources sculpting the engine into shape. 

"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," said CD Projekt CTO, Paweł Zawodny.

"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."

REDengine will still be used to develop the upcoming Cyberpunk 2077 expansion.

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