Over 250 developers are working on the next ‘Witcher’ console game

The Upcoming Witcher Game: Polaris and CD Projekt Red’s Approach

CD Projekt Red, the renowned game development company, has been hard at work on their next installment in the Witcher series. Codenamed “Polaris,” this fourth game in the series is poised to take the gaming world by storm. With a team of over 250 employees dedicated to its development, the company is pulling out all the stops to ensure that Polaris lives up to its expectations.

Embracing Unreal Engine 5 for Polaris

A notable departure from their traditional approach, CD Projekt Red has chosen to build Polaris using Epic Games’ Unreal Engine 5, as opposed to their proprietary REDengine. This strategic shift has a dual purpose: not only does it allow the developers to focus more intently on the game’s content, but it also capitalizes on the extensive resources and tools offered by Unreal Engine 5.

Unreal Engine 5 has emerged as a robust choice due to its repository of pre-built assets and tools. This library of resources significantly streamlines the development process, enabling the team to allocate more time and effort to refining the game’s intricacies. By embracing a proven engine like Unreal Engine 5, CD Projekt Red aims to create a polished and immersive experience for players.

Strengthening the Development Team

Adam Kiciński, the CEO of CD Projekt Red, provided insights into the company’s strategic maneuvering during an earnings call. He noted that, as of July, the team working on the pre-release phase of the expansion for “Cyberpunk 2077,” codenamed “Phantom Liberty,” comprised 300 individuals. While this number is a decrease from the end of the previous year, it still stands as the company’s largest team. In contrast, the Polaris development team has grown substantially, reaching nearly 260 developers by the end of July.

Kiciński revealed the company’s plan to reallocate resources after the release of the “Phantom Liberty” expansion. A significant portion of the team currently working on “Cyberpunk 2077” will be transitioned to join the Polaris team. This strategic shift underlines CD Projekt Red’s commitment to dedicating substantial resources to the development of their upcoming Witcher game.

The Collaborative Synergy with Epic Games

In 2022, CD Projekt Red solidified a “multi-year strategic partnership” with Epic Games. This collaboration has pivotal implications for Polaris and the future of open world titles. By leveraging Epic Games’ expertise, CD Projekt Red aims to enhance the compatibility of Unreal Engine 5 with expansive, open-world game design.

VFX and lighting art director Jakub Knapik elaborated on the advantages of working with Unreal Engine 5. In a tutorial shared on YouTube, he likened the engine to a versatile toolbox, brimming with features and solutions that empower development teams to experiment and innovate. Knapik highlighted that Unreal Engine’s wide adoption across the industry contributes to the refinement of its tools and their agility.

The Strategic Culmination of Cyberpunk 2077

Addressing a significant decision that garnered attention, CD Projekt Red opted to designate the “Phantom Liberty” expansion as the concluding chapter for “Cyberpunk 2077,” with no plans for a second expansion. This move was met with both curiosity and questions from the gaming community.

By concluding the expansion roadmap with “Phantom Liberty,” CD Projekt Red is focusing its energies on the development of Polaris. This strategic decision underscores the company’s commitment to delivering a high-quality and fully-realized Witcher experience in the form of Polaris.

Looking Ahead: The Promise of Polaris

As CD Projekt Red forges ahead with the development of Polaris, their adoption of Unreal Engine 5 and strategic allocation of resources highlight their dedication to creating a game that stands as a testament to their legacy of excellence. The synergy with Epic Games and the decision to conclude “Cyberpunk 2077” with “Phantom Liberty” exemplify the company’s forward-thinking approach.

Polaris is not merely a game in development; it is a testament to the evolution of CD Projekt Red’s philosophy and commitment to crafting immersive and captivating gaming experiences. Players and enthusiasts alike eagerly await the day when Polaris graces their screens, bringing with it the promise of another remarkable journey through the imaginative worlds that CD Projekt Red is renowned for creating.

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Stevie Flavio
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