You might be forgiven for thinking that after a game as huge as The Witcher 3 – both in terms of the size of the game and the impact it had upon release back in May – that CD Projekt Red would be having a well-earned rest.
Not so, according to CDPR Visual Artist, Jose Teixeira. “Cyberpunk is far bigger than anything else that CD Projekt Red has done before,” he told UK games industry retail site MCV. “Far, far bigger… We’re really stepping into the unknown in terms of complexity and size and problems we encounter.”
Cyberpunk 2077 aims to do for the sci-fi RPG what The Witcher did for fantasy role-playing. Based on the long-running tabletop RPG set in a dystopian future dominated by megacorporations, Cyberpunk 2077 will feature a mature, non-linear story where the decisions you make have long-term consequences and a diverse cast of characters. Sound familiar?
CDPR’s experience with The Witcher has given the developer the confidence to tackle such an ambitious project, with Texeira saying that the sheer scale of The Witcher 3 gave the developers the skills and knowledge required for building large-scale open worlds.
“The Witcher helped Cyberpunk quite a bit, because the game got so big and so complex that it really taught us,” Teixeira explained. “We really didn’t know what was going to happen.
“If anything, working on The Witcher 3 was a really good and often brutal learning experience. Cyberpunk is going to benefit greatly from it. I can almost guarantee it.”
Cyberpunk 2077 doesn’t have a release date yet; it seems unlikely it will come out next year, particularly as CD Projekt Red is still hard at work on The Witcher 3‘s next major expansion. The first of those, Hearts of Stone, will be released for download next week and is said to add around 10 hours of content to an already-massive game. The second expansion, Blood and Wine, isn’t due until sometime in early 2016, and will be similar in size and scope.
With The Witcher 3 still going strong, and Cyberpunk still being in the relatively early stages of development, it would be optimistic to expect to hear too much more about CD Projekt’s next big RPG anytime soon. E3 2016 could end up being the venue where the world gets its first real glimpse of Cyberpunk 2077, but even that’s uncertain.
CD Projekt has an excellent track record however, and now more than ever there will be pressure on the studio to deliver a game that lives up to expectations. One thing’s for certain: when Cyberpunk 2077 does finally come out, it’s going to keep players occupied for a very long time.