It’s hard to imagine a single-player-focused game like Cyberpunk 2077 telling a story through multiplayer, but that’s exactly what CD Projekt Red is going for.
While speaking with VGC at Tokyo Game Show 2019 earlier this month, level designer Max Pears revealed that the Polish studio had started “researching” an online component for Night City back in June 2018. The goal was always to merge multiplayer with a narrative and it took the developer over a year to finally chalk down a plan that doesn’t compromise on its signature storytelling capabilities.
Pears didn’t reveal how multiplayer would work in Cyberpunk 2077. He, though, did confirm that the multiplayer won’t happen unless “it fits the lore of the world” because that’s just how CD Projekt Red works.
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.
Cyberpunk 2077 won’t have multiplayer at launch and based on statements, doesn’t seem to be coming for another year post-release. This delay is because of the lengthy research-and-development process that the developer is banking on to make multiplayer “feel right”. There’s no notion to “throw” a mode just because fans want online elements. The multiplayer, in whatever form, needs to be part of the world. It needs to have story elements and maybe ties with the main narrative.
We’ve still got work going on and we’re hiring to make sure that we get the right people for the job. 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.
Cyberpunk 2077 was officially confirmed to be getting multiplayer earlier this month. CD Projekt Red stated that its first priority is to release free add-on packs as well as single-player content post-release. The multiplayer mode will only arrive after all of that has been taken care of.
Could the developer be thinking about a Cyberpunk 2077 multiplayer story expansion, something that stands on its own feet? Looking at Night City, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to have a co-op mode and roam around the streets with a friend. The Witcher franchise never had any online features. It’s probably why the developer wants to make its online debut special.
Cyberpunk 2077 is scheduled to release for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC on April 16, 2019.