Cyberpunk 2077 was supposed to feature a multiplayer mode, but that will never materialize, according to new insight shared by senior quest designer and coordinator Philipp Weber, who was interviewed by a member of Eurogamer last week and suggested that the loss could largely be blamed on the RPG’s rocky and controversial 2020 launch:
“We really needed to look at what were the priorities for Cyberpunk [after it launched],” Weber, who now serves as the acting narrative director of the new Witcher game codenamed “Polaris,” told the publication.
“The priority was that the main experience will run for the people in a really good state,” he explained. “And essentially, the switch of priorities meant that other R&D projects had to go away. With Cyberpunk, 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.'”
This marks the first time that a CD PROJEKT RED employee has gone on record to blame Cyberpunk 2077’s launch for its lack of multiplayer, according to the publication.
“Previously, we hinted that our next triple-A would be a multiplayer Cyberpunk game,” said Adam Kiciński, president and joint CEO, in an investor presentation from March 2021. “But we have decided to reconsider this plan given our new, more systematic, 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,” he added. “We are building an online technology that can be seamlessly integrated into development of our future games.”
“Let’s stress this here: CD Projekt Red makes single-player, story-driven, triple-A RPGs – that is not changing. What is changing is our long-term approach to online, and by this we mean ensuring we are properly prepared to implement online elements in our games where they make sense. We don’t want to go overboard or lose our single-player DNA. We want to take thoughtful steps to build robust online capabilities.”
Cyberpunk 2077 fans can still expect new content in the form of Phantom Liberty, the first and only expansion for the game that is slated for release in 2023 for PC, PlayStation 5, and Xbox Series X|S platforms.
Phantom Liberty has been described as a “spy-thriller expansion.”