CD Projekt Red’s recent earnings meeting with investors has provided some insight into the potential release date of The Witcher 4. CEO Adam Kicinski confirmed that the studio’s switch from their internal engine, REDengine, to Unreal Engine 5 will not affect the speed of development for the upcoming game. However, the move is expected to increase the speed of development for future projects.
The Witcher 4 release date might be far away
Kicinski explained that CD Projekt Red is still in the process of preparing their pipeline and toolset for Unreal Engine 5. While some developers are currently learning the technology, other teams are working with Epic on aspects needed for their open-world, story-driven RPGs. This means that The Witcher 4’s development process may not be accelerated. But the next projects are expected to benefit from the switch to Unreal Engine 5.
According to Kicinski, CD Projekt Red plans to release three big Witcher games within six years. And, it will start with the release of Polaris, which is The Witcher 4. However, the studio’s past games have taken roughly four years to develop, with The Witcher 3 beginning development in 2011 and releasing in 2015, and Cyberpunk 2077 beginning development in 2016 and releasing in 2020. Based on this timeline, if history repeats itself, The Witcher 4 release date could potentially be 2025.
Of course, delays are not uncommon in game development, and CD Projekt Red has faced criticism in the past for the delays in Cyberpunk 2077’s release. Therefore, it is important to note that while 2025 may be the aim and expectation for The Witcher 4 release date, hitting and realizing this expectation is a whole different thing.
The switch to Unreal Engine 5 is expected to have several benefits for CD Projekt Red’s future projects. The engine provides improved graphics, physics, and lighting capabilities, which could enhance the overall experience for players. Additionally, Unreal Engine 5 offers improved tools for creating open-world environments. It could make the development process smoother and faster for CD Projekt Red.
So, what’ll happen?
Despite the potential benefits of Unreal Engine 5, CD Projekt Red has faced criticism in recent years for their handling of both Cyberpunk 2077 and their employees. The development of Cyberpunk 2077 was marred by numerous delays. Also, the game was released in a buggy state that led to widespread criticism from players and media outlets. CD Projekt Red was also criticized for the crunch culture that was reportedly present during the game’s development, with employees working long hours and experiencing burnout.
The company’s handling of the situation led to a loss of trust from both players and investors. CD Projekt Red’s stock price dropped following the release of Cyberpunk 2077. So, the company has faced legal action from investors. They said, they were misled about the state of the game. Additionally, CD Projekt Red faced backlash for their response to the situation, with some employees accusing the company of prioritizing profits over the well-being of their employees.
In conclusion, while CD Projekt Red’s switch to Unreal Engine 5 is expected to have several benefits for their future projects, including The Witcher 4 (which we’re really curious about its release date), it is important to note that the development process for the game may not be accelerated as a result and we might wait more for the release date. Based on the studio’s past games, The Witcher 4 release date could potentially be 2025. But delays are always a possibility. CD Projekt Red will need to rebuild trust with players and investors. Especially, following the backlash they faced for their handling of Cyberpunk 2077’s release and their treatment of employees.
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