Crytek director says Hunt: Showdown's big August update represents 'a significant relaunch of Hunt: Showdown at a whole new level'

More than six months after it was announced, Crytek revealed today that Hunt: Showdown's move to the current version of CryEngine will happen on August 15. The big update will also bring with it a new map and biome, performance improvements, a new UI design, and—in less good news—the official end of support on Xbox One and PlayStation 4 consoles.

Hunt: Showdown general manager David Fifield was clear in November 2023 when he said that we won't see a sequel to the game anytime soon, although he added that players are free to think of the engine upgrade as Hunt 2 if they want to. And while moving to a new version of a game engine doesn't sound like the most seismic shift imaginable, it's clearly a big deal: In today's developer video, Fifield called the update "a significant relaunch of Hunt: Showdown at a whole new level."

Specifics are thin at this point but Fifield said Crytek will reveal more through weekly updates, developer videos, and "showcases" leading up to the August launch. Those will cover everything from general technological changes to a look at the new interface, more granular gameplay changes, and an update on the Fair Play Task Force aimed at addressing cheating and toxicity in the game.

Unfortunately, the move to the new version of Crytek means it will no longer run on previous-gen consoles. That's obviously not a great situation for people on those systems, but the good news is that if and when you move to the current generation—that is, PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X/S—your stuff will all be waiting for you. "We want to be clear, your player accounts and entitlements to Hunt: Showdown and all related DLCs carry up to the new version at no additional cost when you're ready to make the hardware transition," Fifield said.

The new map and biome will be the first added to Hunt: Showdown in more than three years, which makes it a pretty big deal in its own right. Hunt's last map, 2021's De Salle, was a graphical showpiece that traded waist-high bogs for tumbleweeds and traditional cowboy towns. Fans have long guessed that a fourth map would introduce winter weather into the mix, but Crytek hasn't budged on details.

It's clearly the technological changes that are the marquee element here: As Hunter Showdowner Morgan Park said last year, the new technology "will allow Crytek to become more nimble in producing updates and trying out ideas," and that hopefully means multi-year waits for big updates (like, say, new maps) will become a thing of the past.

Fifield promised "a mountain of other content and features" including teasers and previews of the next event and new map and biome in the weeks leading up to the August 15 update: "We're excited to have you on this journey with us, and eager to take this massive new step wilt you all."

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.