CD Projekt RED started developing Cyberpunk 2077's next-gen RED Engine tech all the way back in 2015 after The Witcher 3 shipped, the company today confirmed.
With advanced animation and cinematic capabilities, real-time AI, and living, breathing city simulations, RED Engine 4.0 is a big jump over the engine that powered The Witcher 3. Given TW3's excellent performance, visuals, and execution, that's saying quite a bit. Now CDPR says its current RED Engine iteration that powers Cyberpunk 2077 was actually five years in the making.
In its recent annual 2020 earnings report, CD Projekt RED confirms it started making the current RED Engine 4.0 technology way back in 2015. Major RED Engine innovations like high-end city creation and advanced motion capture and animation techniques occurred in 2017, a year after CDPR secured funding from the Polish government as part of the GameINN financing program for R&D innovation.
RED Engine 4.0 will power all of CD Projekt's future games, which include its next Cyberpunk multiplayer project as well as a brand new title in The Witcher universe.
Starting in 2022, CDPR will use its advanced new RED Engine to begin developing two games simultaneously, which include major benefits seen in Cyberpunk 2077 as well as optimizations for PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S consoles, including ray-tracing, 4K 60FPS, variable rate shading, FidelityFX support, and other DirectX 12 Ultimate feature sets.
Since the launch of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt in 2015 the Company has been working on the fourth generation of REDengine, among others by introducing new solutions which were employed - for the first time - in the Company's newest release: Cyberpunk 2077.
Since 10 December 2020 Cyberpunk 2077 is available on the PC, Xbox One, Xbox One X, PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 4 Pro. For PC users the game supports cloud gaming via Google Stadia and GeForce Now. It is also compatible with next gen consoles: PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series S and Series X.
Work is underway to publish a dedicated next-gen version, fully exploiting the hardware capabilities of these consoles and offering top-notch gameplay.
Work on the fourth generation of REDEngine involves, among others, development of new technologies co-financed under the GameINN umbrella (part of the Intelligent Growth Operational Programme). The Company secured funding for the following projects in 2016:
- City Creation - comprehensive technology enabling creation of massive "living" cities playable in real-time and based on the principles of artificial intelligence and automation, including innovative processes and tools which assist in the development of top-quality open-world games;
- Animation Excellence - comprehensive technology facilitating rapid increases in the quality and efficiency of creating complex body and face animations for use in open-world RPGs, including innovative process solutions and a unique dedicated toolkit;
- Cinematic Feel - comprehensive technology which delivers exceptional cinematic quality of cutscenes set in open-world RPG environments, including innovative process solutions and a unique dedicated toolkit.
The above projects began in 2017 and successfully completed in 2020. Their results were used in the development of Cyberpunk 2077, enhancing the game and enabling practical exploitation of modern, innovative technologies. The Company also expects to be able to apply these results in its future products.