CD Projekt has agreed a 15-year deal with Epic Games for the use and development of the latter company’s Unreal Engine and is starting the partnership with the next entry in its popular The Witcher series.
Warsaw-based CD Projekt announced on Monday that it’s working on the next Witcher game and making the jump from its in-house REDengine to Epic’s widely used graphics system. The company earned global acclaim for 2015’s The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, which it followed with a jump from sword-and-sorcery fantasy to futuristic dystopia with 2020’s Cyberpunk 2077. Both were built using the REDengine, but Cyberpunk suffered from a series of graphical and gameplay glitches that spoiled the experience for early players.
Epic’s Unreal Engine is one of the most widely used game-making toolkits. Its latest version, UE5, was showcased on Sony Group’s PlayStation 5 and Sony bought a US$250-million stake in the company in 2020. The collaboration with CD Projekt includes “further development and improvement of this engine in order to adapt it to the requirements of open-world games”, according to a filing by the Polish company.
“If anyone can push the limits of the malleable Unreal Engine in open-world games, it’s CD Projekt’s engineers,” said Bernstein analyst Matti Littunen.
The Witcher, originally a fantasy series written by Andrzej Sapkowski, was also adapted by Netflix into a successful live-action series starring Henry Cavill and recreating the look of its titular character from the game’s design. — (c) 2022 Bloomberg LP