Last year, Epic Games introduced developers to Unreal Engine 5, its next-generation engine that touted access to the latest technologies in early access form as the company progressed towards a full release. Today, Epic launched the engine out of preview during its latest State of Unreal event, offering the full toolset to game developers, filmmakers, and other creators.
The biggest innovative technologies include Lumen, the dynamic lighting system that eliminates the need for pre-baked lights, and Nanite, the micro-polygon geometry system that offers much higher details while also taking the usual scaling systems out of the developers hands to free up time and resources.
The MetaSounds procedural audio engine, built-in Temporal Super Resolution upscaling solution, tech that easily leans into raytracing, collaborative development support, new and improved tools for easily creating worlds, levels, models, and animations, and much more are a part of the new release too. Here are the full release notes for this massive launch.
While it may be a while before full-fledged games made in Unreal Engine 5 by other developers show up on shelves, Epic has already shipped a title: Fortnite. With the release of Fortnite Chapter 3, the game was switched over to the latest engine iteration.
As for other upcoming projects, during the announcement livestream, Crystal Dynamics revealed that the next chapter of Tomb Raider is currently in development, and it is using Unreal Engine 5. Unfortunately, that's all the developer had the share regarding the project.
CD Projekt RED also recently announced a new saga of The Witcher series, which will be developed in Unreal Engine 5. New projects powered by the engine are incoming from massive publishers like Xbox Game Studios, PlayStation Studios, TakeTwo, Devolver Digital, as well as independent developers.