The Witcher and the New Saga: Digital foundry’s doubts about the adoption of Unreal Engine 5

In a recent in-depth article edited by Richard Leadbetter, the Digital Foundry journalist did not hide his perplexities about the choice made by CD Projekt to develop the New Saga of The Witcher on Unreal Engine 5.

For DF’s Technology Editor, the transition from REDengine to the new development ecosystem based on the latest iteration of Unreal Engine represents a real “seismic change” for a software house that, over the last few years, has invested time and resources to update your cross-platform graphics engine.

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Leadbetter himself, however, believes that the changes made to the REDengine are at the same time the strength and weakness of a graphics engine which, if it had been chosen to realize the nextgen vision of the New Saga of The Witcher, would still have to undergo a new transformation after Cyberpunk 2077.

For the exponent of Digital Foundry, therefore, it is no coincidence that CD Projekt has announced the marriage with Epic and its Unreal Engine 5 as a milestone in a long journey not aimed exclusively at the development of the new series of The Witcher but linked, in fact, to a broader strategy.

Net of the perplexities expressed by CD Projekt’s abandonment of the REDengine, Leadbetter believes that Unreal Engine 5 is “the graphics engine of the future” and that the synergy between the Polish company and Epic will lead the latter to improve the tools of development, to the advantage of third-party software houses wishing to create their own open-world video games on UE5.

Reflecting on the perspectives of the recently announced New Saga of The Witcher, only with time will we be able to understand if the transition to Unreal Engine 5 by CDPR will lead to tangible advantages in the development, both in terms of timing and strictly graphic or playful aspects (not to mention optimization).

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