Why Cyberpunk 2077 Multiplayer Never Came After Launch
Cyberpunk 2077 has been undergoing a tentative No Man’s Sky-like redemption arc, but some of the pre-release promises haven’t been and, as we now know, won’t be met. The sprawling multiplayer mode was meant to come out soon after Cyberpunk 2077’s initial release, but two years on, nothing much else was said until now.
In an interview with Eurogamer, Philipp Weber, the Acting Campaign Director at CDPR, explained that Cyberpunk 2077’s disastrous launch forced the company to dedicate most of its time to fixing the many problems the game shipped with.
The priority was that the main experience will run for the people in a really good state (…) 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 focus on turning Cyberpunk into a finished product has now paid off immensely. Although it did lose the exciting multiplayer mode that might’ve made Night City feel that much more alive, Cyberpunk 2077 has turned itself around into a success. The game recently reached a new all-time peak of 136k concurrent players on Steam and it’s soon getting a GOTY edition.
Bringing multiplayer into their games isn’t something CD Projekt Red is giving up on, though. The company posted a Strategy Update video explaining how it’s changing its approach to multiplayer. They intend to do this while keeping their single-player roots intact.
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.
Adam Kiciński, President and Joint CEO of CD Projekt Red
What exactly these online elements are, we don’t know yet. Introducing multiplayer components to single-player games can be tough, but we might see something like what Kojima did in Death Stranding, integrating the online component into the game world itself.
Regardless of what they come up with, let’s hope CD Projekt Red keeps giving us good news. The Witcher 3’s free next-gen update is looking incredible and is completely free for anyone who already owns the game. An Unreal Engine 5 Witcher sequel and Remake are also on the cards, which might be the first showings of this new online approach.
Cyberpunk 2077 won’t have the multiplayer mode we all thought it would, but its story expansion, which is coming next year, should ease some of the pain. See you in the new district of Night City!