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One of the reasons why CD Projekt switched to Unreal Engine 5 was a tech demo similar to The Witcher

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The era of Unreal Engine 5 has truly begun as Epic officially launched its original game development engine after a year of early access yesterday, along with announcements that games like the next installment in the Tomb Raider series will use the engine. Other notable studios signed on to the deal include CD Projekt Red, which is developing new open-world games in UE5, including a new installment in one of the biggest franchises, The Witcher.

This is a significant departure for the Polish developer, as he was justifiably proud of the REDengine engine he developed, which was used in The Witcher 3 and Cyberpunk 2077. The latter game is one of the most expensive video games ever made, and while many factors contributed to its massive budget, the costs associated with updating the studio’s proprietary technology are not small; thus, the transition to UE5 is an important step. But it looks like Epic may have courted the developers of The Witcher a while back.

In an interview posted on Unreal Engine’s Twitter account, CDPR CTO Pavel Zavodny explains how Epic’s shift to focusing on open worlds has drawn their attention to the technology. But one particular demo seemed to really grab attention, as their game director Jason Slama shows in the video.

So last year there was one demo that was a demo of a medieval environment where at one point there was a bulletin board that looks oddly familiar with things we’ve done in the past that even has a sign that says “Monster Slayer Wanted” . And I thought, uh, they’re trying to tell us, “Come to Unreal Engine, see how great your games can look there”, was this whole demo made for that devious purpose? I don’t know, but it definitely got my attention.

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