For most developers outside of Epic Games, Unreal Engine 5 is still more of an idea and not yet a reality. Recently unveiled with a tech demo built for PlayStation 5, the upcoming version of the popular and high scalable engine won't be launched officially for outside developers until 2021. That wait won't stop studios from planning to use it, and RPG makers inXile Entertainment have just announced that Unreal 5 is its choice for its next title.
The announcement comes straight from inXile's official Twitter and is backed up by Studio Head Brian Fargo. "We've had quite a few questions about our next gen RPG and can confirm it will use Unreal Engine 5," writes Fargo. That may seem like a small potatoes announcement—many studios are likely to stick with or switch to Unreal for next-gen projects—but it will be a change-up for inXile. Wasteland 3, first announced in 2016 and set to release later this year, runs on Unity.
Announcing a move to Unreal 5 also serves to signal Microsoft's continued commitment to using and supporting the engine. Acquired by Microsoft in November 2018, inXile won't be alone amongst its fellow developers under the Xbox Game Studios umbrella in using Unreal. The Coalition's Gears games, Rare's Sea of Thieves, Obsidian's upcoming survival title Grounded, and the Series X-destined Hellblade 2 all run on Unreal-and, with the debut of Unreal 5 pitched in part as an example of what's possible on a PlayStation 5, inXile committing to use the engine now backs up Xbox Head Phil Spencer's confidence in how the tech will serve developers on Xbox Series X.
It's also worth noting that development for next-gen titles on Unreal doesn't necessarily need to wait for the new version to get started. Earlier this month, Epic released Unreal 4.25, an update that adds initial support for Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5. Games built on Unreal 4 can also be migrated to the newer engine, which Epic plans to do with Fortnite in mid-2021 after already bringing the title to both new consoles.
It could be years before we see the fruits of inXile's labor on this new RPG, but Wasteland 3 is only a few months away. May 19 was set to be its release date, but the launch was then pushed back to August 28, 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While inXile has been part of Xbox Game Studios for a while now, Wasteland 3 is still being published by Deep Silver and will come to PS4, PC, Mac, and Linux in addition to Xbox One and PC (and yes, it will come to Game Pass).
It is possible we could get an early look at this next-gen RPG soon, though. Microsoft is set to host a showcase of first-party titles coming to Series X in July, and a reveal of inXile's first proper Xbox Game Studios title could be a welcome sight.