Did Epic lead CD Projekt Red to Unreal Engine 5 with a “fake” wizard demo?

yesterday Unreal Engine 5 Introducer epic game A few surprises: In addition to announcing that Unreal Engine 5 is now available for download for all developers, Epic has hosted Crystal Dynamics (It announced its new tomb Raider games) and CD Project RED.

We were very excited when we announced in March that CD Projekt RED was working on a new entry in The Witcher series – which will be developed using Unreal Engine 5.

It’s quite a turnaround for the folks at the studio, as the company has previously produced sizable songs and dances using its own proprietary technology, REDengine. Alex has explored why this is a landmark announcement, and yesterday we heard a little bit from the developers about the story behind the engine switch.

According to Jason Slama (Game Director at CD Projekt RED), it all started with the Unreal 5 demo shown medieval environment“At one point, there was a bulletin board that looked oddly similar to what we’ve done in the past, and there was even a sign that said ‘Wanted Monster Killer’.

“They were trying to tell us ‘Come on Unreal Engine – is this how great your game looks?'” Slama asked. “Was the whole demo made for that nefarious purpose? I don’t know, but it got my attention!”

As you can see in the tweet embedded above, the Unreal 5 demo really does look like it could be set in the Witcher world – it’s dark, spectacular, and you can imagine the wind whistling through the failed building .

We know CD Projekt has been tinkering with new technology since at least late last year when it announced “exploratory work” on a new game.

We’ll probably never know if Epic’s tech wizards deliberately laid out this demo to trick the folks at CDPR into using its engine, but this interview, footage, and story was cut for Epic’s presentation. The company is clearly happy that it managed to get well-known studios like CDPR (cyberpunk, damn) on its books.

While we wait for more information about The Witcher 4 – or whatever it’s called – you can satiate your appetite by checking out the newly released The Witcher cookbook, which will feature over 80 recipes inspired by Geralt’s fantasy world likes to call home.