CD Projekt Red aims to “push boundaries” with Unreal Engine 5

The Witcher and Cyberpunk 2077 developer says it's no less technically ambitious, despite swapping to Unreal Engine from its own RED Engine.

Witcher 4 key art, featuring a pendant obscured by snow, next to an Unreal Engine logo colored in red

Both Cyberpunk 2077 and The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt serve as prime examples of CD Projekt Red‘s technical pedigree, with both games running on the company’s bespoke RED Engine. However, the studio plans to use Unreal Engine 5 for all future projects, prompting some concern. Now, one developer is keen to reassure fans that much as the tools have changed, CDPR’s ambition and culture hasn’t.

The first games expected to use Unreal Engine 5 developed by CD Projekt Red are The Witcher 4, code-named ‘Polaris’, and The Witcher Remake, a reimagining of the 2007 RPG game. However, no screenshots or footage from either has been shared at the time of writing.

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Despite this, the current capabilities are causing some unease that features like Cyberpunk 2077 path tracing won’t feature in future CD Projekt Red games. That’s not forgetting the optimization woes demonstrated by Ark: Survival Ascended performance and other UE5 games.

All that said, Jakub Knapik, global art director at CD Projekt RED has shared some thoughts that should help somewhat allay any doubts. Speaking to WCCFTech, Knapik says:

“For sure, Unreal is a different engine with a different balance in terms of how it’s built compared to REDengine, and we will definitely put in a lot of effort and share a lot of passion with our partners in order to harness Unreal Engine’s greatest strengths and expand its capabilities so we can create the games we wish to make for our players. What’s more, we again aim to push technical boundaries while doing so; we have not made our ambitions any smaller in the slightest when it comes to that.”

While this statement admittedly lacks specifics, it’s clear that CD Projekt RED plans to push Unreal Engine 5 in exciting new directions that will undoubtedly stress the best graphics cards of today and tomorrow. After all, Cyberpunk 2077 can still prove to be quite the test for the likes of the GeForce RTX 4090.

Sadly, with The Witcher Remake release date likely being many years away, we’ll have to wait a while longer to see these ambitions in action.