The Witcher developers CD Projekt Red today formally introduced their next-gen game engine, REDengine3. It's the evolution of REDengine, first used in The Witcher 2, and REDengine2, which was used for the Xbox 360 port of the same game.
CD Projekt promised in a press release that the engine is fully next-gen-ready, and that it will finally allow for developers to blur the line between CG cut scene and in-game graphics. Further, REDengine3 will produce RPGs "comparable to top-shelf shooters, both in terms of game-world presentation and the epic proportions of events that the player is drawn into." That's the standard they're holding it up to, apparently.
Studio head Adam Badowski had the following to say:
If we look at RPGs nowadays we find two approaches, one which emphasizes the story but limits the game world, and one that builds a vast, open world but hampers and simplifies the story. With the REDengine 3 we combine the positive aspects of both approaches for the first time, creating an open environment with a complex, multi-thread story. Together with believable characters, a captivating tale and a world where players can roam freely without loading times, we will be able to move gaming to a new level with a realistic feel and full player immersion. When working on our previous titles, I didn’t dream that we would achieve something like this. Thanks to the support of all our fans, now we have the possibility to use REDengine 3 and create something many RPG fans dream of.
Cyberpunk 2077 is so far the only confirmed game using the new engine, though if we recall, CD Projekt has another announcement coming up soon. One that might have something to do with The Witcher 3. Maybe.