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CDPR designer explains why Cyberpunk 2077's multiplayer got cut

Getting a bunch of chooms together for some co-op fun was this close to being a reality for Cyberpunk 2077.

Justin Carter

December 5, 2022

2 Min Read
Screenshot from CD Projekt Red's Cyberpunk 2077.

In a recent interview with Eurogamer, CD Projekt Red's Phillip Webber talked about the shelving of Cyberpunk 2077's intended multiplayer mode. The mode was quietly cut from the game's roadmap following its less than stellar 2020 launch, which required the developer to prioritize fixes for the following year and a half. 

"The priority was that the main experience will run for the people in a really good state," said Webber, who worked on Cyberpunk as a senior quest designer and coordinator. "Essentially, the switch of priorities meant that other R&D projects had to go away." 

Weber added that the studio was overambitious with Cyberpunk, and multiplayer was one of those overindulgences. "We wanted to do many things at the same time, and we just needed to really focus and say, 'Okay, what's the important part? Yeah, we will make that part really good.'"

CDPR previously indicated in 2020 before Cyberpunk's release that its multiplayer would be a standalone affair with minimal microtransactions. Last year during an investor presentation, president Adam Kiciński walked back those plans, stating the developers "have decided to reconsider this plan given our new, more systematic, agile approach."

However, he indicated that going forward, future games from CDPR would feature an online experience in some capacity. "We are building an online technology that can be seamlessly integrated into development of our future games."

With Cyberpunk 2077 already greenlit for a sequel, and CDPR's focus on building out its franchises for potential revenue streams, it feels likely that the sequel will feature online mechanics in some capacity. Even so, Kiciński stressed back then that the studio would continue to be an important part of its DNA. 

"CD Projekt Red makes single-player, story-driven, triple-A RPGs—that is not changing, said Kiciński in 2021. "We don't want to go overboard or lose our single-player DNA. We want to take thoughtful steps to build robust online capabilities."

About the Author(s)

Justin Carter

Contributing Editor, GameDeveloper.com

A Kansas City, MO native, Justin Carter has written for numerous sites including IGN, Polygon, and SyFy Wire. In addition to Game Developer, his writing can be found at io9 over on Gizmodo. Don't ask him about how much gum he's had, because the answer will be more than he's willing to admit.

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