CD Projekt Red is definitely increasing the profile of its sci-fi open world RPG as of late after years of mostly silent development. After confirming that Cyberpunk 2077 is being made and would have online elements, the studio mentioned on Twitter that it won’t be delving into shady tactics that it sees plaguing other games:
“When thinking [Cyberpunk 2077], think nothing less than [The Witcher 3] — huge single player, open world, story-driven RPG. No hidden catch, you get what you pay for — no bullshit, just honest gaming like with Wild Hunt. We leave greed to others.”
Cyberpunk 2077 is looking to pick up some new talent, too. CD Projekt Red has posted dozens of job openings for the game, including artists, a lead gameplay designer, an open world designer (tasked with “keeping high quality of sandbox content in game”), and a network programmer (“helping in design and implementation of multiplayer changes to existing systems”).
When science fiction writers pictured the world of tomorrow back in the mid-’80s, they pictured some things that definitely have not caught on in ubiquity (bulky VR headsets, neon everything, phasing out daylight in favor of rainy nights all day every day). But the whole idea of constantly interconnected computers? They got that. So it seems appropriate that the upcoming Cyberpunk 2077 from CD Projekt Red (best known for The Witcher series) will include some form of online component.
Company CEO Adam Kicinski has said in a recent interview that an online component is recommended and/or necessary in order to achieve long-term success in the video game marketplace. What that online component may be remains to be seen, as it could be anything from a multiplayer mode to lockboxes to just being a full online co-op game. You can check out the video interview just below, but it is in Polish, so you’ll want to turn on subtitles if that’s not a language you speak.
Massively OP’s Justin Olivetti has a provocative article on his personal gaming blog, Bio Break, this week on MMORPG housing.
“I once again wonder why open world housing is this holy grail that some players and developers seem hellbent on chasing,” he writes. “It’s an ideal, a beautiful mirage couched in the notion of players inhabiting the very world they play, allowing them to stroll through neighborhoods of fellow adventurer’s homes and basking in the connectivity of it all. Yet it’s a failed experiment, one that is proven time and again to have far more drawbacks than benefits.” After listing off his complaints with the mechanic, he ultimately concludes that “we simply don’t need fixed open world housing, even in sandboxes.”
But being Justin, he also asked for feedback on why the joys are worth the drawbacks – and how to fix the system so it works instead of running off the rails. That’s just what we’ll do in this week’s Overthinking. Is he right about not needing this type of housing? And if not, how would you fix open world housing?
Considering the sparse information that has been released about CD Projekt Red’s perhaps-an-MMO Cyberpunk 2077 over the last four years, it’s easy to assume that the game has long been abandoned. However, the studio asserted this week that it has a good reason for being closed-lipped about the project, saying that it takes time to “reinvent the wheel” and innovate with new games.
The Witcher 3 studio was prompted to make an official response about the game following public concerns over alleged poor morale and high turnover behind the scenes. CD Projekt Red said that instead of shrinking, the studio is now double the size that it was in 2015 and is still hiring. And best of all, CD Projekt Red confirmed that Cyberpunk 2077 is still being made and has the backing of the studio.
“Cyberpunk 2077 is progressing as planned, but we are taking our time — in this case, silence is the cost of making a great game,” the studio said. You can read the full letter concerning the project after the break.
Lore! Huh! What is it good for? Understanding why you’re standing in the middle of a pack of angry people with fangs in MMOs, of course. It’s the thin line dividing your actions from being reckless, indiscriminate mayhem and discriminating, careful mayhem. Lore is how you know what the world is like beyond your front door, and it’s the difference between understanding that you face Ragnaros, lord of flame or just knowing that there’s a dude here made out of fire, so you should probably use water spells on him.
All lore, however, is not created equal. There’s lore that creates a detailed, vibrant world full of people with their own hopes and dreams, and there’s lore that creates a game where you know what you’re supposed to be doing but have no idea what people do for fun afterwards aside from waiting to die. So today, we explore the tiers of lore, arranged in a numbered list because that’s the entire premise of the column. It’s not Perfect Vague Assortment of Concepts. That’s not even a column.
It’s been a long while since Massively OP’s MJ took a stream peek at Otherland. In fact, it’s been only a month shy of two years! The game wasn’t faring the best and then it disappeared for a time. But now it’s back, and with a hefty patch to boot. MJ is interested to poke inside and see what might have changed. Join us live at 8:00 p.m. as OPTV‘s infamous Stream Team brings you a second first look at…
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 8:00 p.m. EDT on Wednesday, August 23rd, 2017
On this week’s show, Justin and MJ speculate about the weirdness of a Secret World TV show, get ready for World of Warcraft’s Patch 7.3, celebrate Ultima Online’s 20th birthday, and more!
It’s the Massively OP Podcast, an action-packed hour of news, tales, opinions, and gamer emails! And remember, if you’d like to send in your own letter to the show, use the “Tips” button in the top-right corner of the site to do so.
Listen to the show right now:
Over this summer, we’ve been getting tips suggesting that the Tad Williams Otherland MMORPG was in serious trouble, as first it went dark on Steam and then it returned, silently, with an 8GB patch. Drago Entertainment did not respond to requests for a comment then, or perhaps it could not if it didn’t control its press relations, but either way it’s finally posted something to its Facebook page today, and although it doesn’t address the Steam outage directly, it’s definitely good news going forward.
The studio explains that it was originally brought on as the developer by the investors who own the game in the wake of the RealU studio’s closure, but it was hamstrung by the publisher, who you’ll recall was Gamigo, though Drago doesn’t name names.
“Shortly after the soft launch of Otherland as a free-to-play game in September 2016, the publisher decided to hold back on most releases and information in preparation for a major relaunch planned for June this year,” Drago says. “The game not being relaunched as planned has seen the investors sit down with the publisher to voice their concerns and to keep a long story short, it has been decided that the investors will continue Otherland on their own.”
MOP reader Sally recently pointed us to a series of articles on virtual reality and augmented reality tech that when taken together make for an interesting discussion on two terms most laypeople seem to use interchangeably.
- In January following this year’s CES, Yahoo tech columnist David Pogue rolled his eyes at “gushing” over VR and argued that augmented reality was far more interesting.
- In April, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg gave a speech suggesting that the future of VR is bright but that the equipment was a hindrance to socializing — that augmented reality, with transparent glasses, is the future.
- Electronic Arts said basically the same exact thing just four days ago — that VR is still years away from mass-market consumers but that the company is focusing on AR in the shorter term.
- And finally AltspaceVR, a startup that was offering a social VR chat aimed at businesses, is closing up shop, having run out of funding. Its userbase was only 35,000 people monthly, and it’s not even the only VR company to close down this year.
I have to say that I see much more utility and promise in a Shadowrun-like tech future of augmented glasses than in cumbersome game devices, but am I wrong — and are the money men wrong? Is our future in virtual reality or augmented reality?
Have you ever lost your top when someone condescended to lecture you that you’re playing MMORPGs wrong? You and Roger at Contains Moderate Peril both, pal. In a recent essay, he goes off on those who would presume to lecture others that there is a “proper” way to play online games.
“Is there a definitive way to play an MMORPG?” he asks. “‘No’ is the brief answer. Sure, each MMO has a set of rules and procedures that set out a path of progression. However, nowhere in these rules will you find a statement saying it is mandatory to play this particular way. Humans like to adapt things to suit their own needs. Play is underpinned by imagination and creativity.”
Revolt against peer pressure and conformity! Raid in your skivvies! Roleplay as an omniscient tree stump!
The parade of MMO blog essays continue in today’s Global Chat, where writers talk about LOTRO band outfits, the lack of excitement over online game launches, being a frog in EverQuest II, and more.
CD Projekt Red, the maker of the acclaimed Witcher RPG series, claimed that cyber thieves have made off with “internal files” and “early designs” for its upcoming Cyberpunk 2077 and have reported the theft to Polish police. What’s more bizarre is that the thieves are allegedly holding the documents ransom until the studio pays up.
The studio released a statement on Twitter about the crime, saying that the documents are old and should be ignored if leaked: “An unidentified individual or individuals have just informed us they are in possession of a few internal files belonging to CD Projekt Red. Among them are documents connected to early designs for the upcoming game, Cyberpunk 2077. A demand for ransom has been made, saying that should we not comply, the files will be released to the general public.”
We have had our eye on Cyberpunk 2077 since last year when the game’s description made us wonder if this title will be an MMORPG in disguise. You can read the full CD Projekt Red statement after the break.
Don’t count cyberpunk sandbox MMO Exile Online out just yet. While the game’s Kickstarter didn’t meet its $45,000 goal last year, its developers continued work and are now rolling out GoFundMe campaign in its place.
“After our initial Kickstarter campaign did not receive the full funding, we realised we needed to do a lot more work,” the team wrote on Facebook. “This is our first in a series of planned phases of funding on Gofundme. We have decided to divide our goals up into milestones rather than seeking one huge lump sum. This way we can complete planned and announced milestones and prove to our pledges that their funding is being used wisely. The pledge levels will remain largely the same as before and we will increase the pledge levels at a later date to include the larger ones.”
Most recently, the devs have released a stream of updates on Facebook focusing on maps and says it’s “been making great progress on the mission system.”
Sniffing out promising upcoming MMOs is getting more difficult now that developers and studios are avoiding that label like the plague. Instead, we’re looking for terms like “seamless multiplayer” and “shared open world” as indicators for the types of games that we enjoy.
One of these possible MMOs-in-disguise is Cyberpunk 2077, a sci-fi RPG that’s being developed by Witcher creator CD Projekt Red. The game has been in development at least since 2012 and is supposed to create a world that’s far larger than the already expansive Witcher 3. What’s of interest to us, specifically, are recent grant applications of the title that speak of “seamless multiplayer.”
According to descriptions of this feature, Cyberpunk 2077 will have “a complex technology for making unique multiplayer gameplay mechanics, including the ability to search for opponents, manage game session, replicate objects, and support different game modes along with a unique set of dedicated tools.”
It should be noted that CD Projekt Red has been very quiet on this title since 2013, making no updates to its development blog or Twitter account. Still, if you’re curious what Cyberpunk 2077 looks like, hit the jump for a couple of videos showing off the concept.