Covering Cyberpunk 2077 has been an exercise in frustration here on multiplayer-focused MOP as CD Projekt Red has been stringing along promises of a distant multiplayer for ages now. Last we heard, it was likely several years away and probably going to be a “standalone product” rather than some sort of mere multiplayer component.
That was December’s investor call. Since then, the base game launched and stumbled under tech problems, refunds, cut content, multiple investor lawsuits, government inquiries, crunch and abuse scandals, and that whole thing where somebody hacked the company and sold some of its files on the black market. And with all that weighing down the last three months, this week’s investor call seems to be rerouting those original plans for multiplayer once again.
Essentially, the company is being retooled for agile game production, focusing heavily on Cyberpunk and The Witcher IPs, with games being worked on in tandem, much shorter marketing campaigns, and more care for working conditions, which after the crunch fiasco no one has any particular reason to believe. President and joint CEO of CD Projekt Red Adam Kicinski says the company will center on single-player games, but “online experiences” and transmedia synergy offerings are still in the cards.
“Previously we hinted that our next triple-A would be a multiplayer Cyberpunk game, but we have decided to reconsider this plan,” he said. “Given our new systematic and more agile approach, instead of primarily focusing on one big online experience or game, we are focusing on bringing online into all of our franchises one day. We are building an online technology that can be seamlessly integrated into development of our future games. This technology will power online components we choose to introduce in our games and will ensure we can do so without any great technological debt.”
Of course, it’s not super clear from the statements whether that means Cyberpunk 2077’s planned multiplayer has been outright canceled or just postponed and altered. Whatever online components the company is working on seem pretty darn distant – which ought to go pretty far toward assuaging any need we feel to keep covering it.