Cyberpunk 2077 multiplayer will have story ties

Earlier this month, CD Projekt Red surprised most people by announcing that Cyberpunk 2077 would get a multiplayer mode after launch. Now, the studio has revealed a little bit more about the multiplayer mode and why it took awhile for them to reveal it — the Cyberpunk 2077 multiplayer will actually tie into its lore.

The mode itself was initially hinted at back in 2013 by CD Projekt Red managing director Adam Badowski. However, the studio remained quiet about the feature for most of the game’s time in development. It turns out, this was because the studio first did a significant amount of research into how it would tie into Cyberpunk 2077‘s story before committing itself to doing it.

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At the 2019 Tokyo Game Show, level designer Max Pears discussed the mode in an interview with Video Games Chronicle. Here, Pears mentioned that multiplayer in Cyberpunk 2077 needed to fit into how CD Projekt Red designs games and its emphasis on story and lore.

“I can’t say too much on it because it’s still going through its process, but it’s about making sure that multiplayer fits in with the lore of the world and it feels right,” explained Pears. “It’s about making sure it fits in with who we are as a company as well, because story is so important to us, plus it needs to fit in with how we design and deliver games. That’s why it was so important to go through the R&D process with it. To make sure that we’re not just throwing something in and that it feels like a CD Projekt Red multiplayer that has our beliefs and design philosophy.”

CD Projekt Red made a name for itself over the years with single-player games, specifically The Witcher trilogy based on the books of the same name. That said, the studio has done multiplayer games before with a couple of spin-offs of The Witcher series, namely mobile MOBA The Witcher Battle Arena, as well as Gwent: the Witcher Card Game.

More importantly, unlike The Witcher, Cyberpunk 2077‘s source material lends itself much more easily to multiplayer. The game adapts Mike Pondsmith’s classic tabletop RPG Cyberpunk 2020, after all. The series doesn’t have a lead character like The Witcher‘s Geralt of Rivia, with the game’s player character “V” being shaped much more by the player.

Of course, CD Projekt Red is still a studio that has focused more on single-player over the years. As such, it should come as no surprise that it is still actually hiring staff to work on multiplayer. “We’ve still got work going on and we’re hiring to make sure that we get the right people for the job,” explained Pears.

Combined with the fact that CD Projekt Red apparently only began research on the game’s multiplayer mode at June of 2018, all this should explain why Cyberpunk 2077 won’t ship with the multiplayer mode at launch — it’s coming a free DLC sometime after. Not only is the studio working on something it hasn’t really focused on as much prior to this, it’s also doing its best to deliver a mode that still fits into its high standard when it comes to world building and story.

With all this in mind, some may worry that the work on the multiplayer mode might affect the quality of Cyberpunk 2077‘s single-player mode. However, that doesn’t seem to be the case. Pears reassured fans that the studio was still working on delivering the story-driven, single-player experience that it has become known for.

“The main focus is still single-player right now and we’re making sure that people understand that this world is more than big enough for single-player,” he said in an effort to comfort worried fans.