Cyberpunk 2077 is an upcoming RPG from CD Projekt Red, based on the Cyberpunk 2020 tabletop game. It was announced all the way back in May 2012 as an open-world sci-fi RPG set in a dystopian California city in the year 2077.
There’s no release date yet, but we have compiled all the news, trailers, and rumors (no gameplay yet!) about Cyberpunk 2077 in the lead-up to launch – in particular, the possibility that Cyberpunk 2077 will be shown at E3 2018.
Here’s everything you need to know about Cyberpunk 2077.
- Genre: RPG
- Platform(s): PC (Console TBA)
- Developer: CD Projekt Red
- Publisher: CD Projekt
- Release date: N/A
CD Projekt Red, the Warsaw-based developer of the popular Witcher series, first began dropping hints about its new sci-fi RPG in May 2012. Back then, we knew CD Projekt was working on two new games – according to job listings on its official website, one was an “RPG in a dark fantasy world” and the other an “RPG in a brand new setting.”
The “dark fantasy” RPG ended up being, unsurprisingly, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. But the second game – distinguished only with a handgun icon – was up in the air.
“We’re looking for people who would rather work on an entirely new and different IP – a vast RPG for which we want to assemble the best possible staff,” wrote the job listing.
Not long after, CD Projekt Red released a teaser image showing off its new RPG’s sci-fi roots, with more details promised for CD Projekt Red’s Summer Conference at the end of the month.
As expected, CD Projekt Red officially announced Cyberpunk 2077 on May 30, 2012 during its Summer Conference. Then simply called Cyberpunk, CD Projekt revealed that its upcoming RPG would be an adaptation of Mike Pondsmith’s 1988 tabletop role-playing game Cyberpunk 2020, with roots in cyberpunk staples like Blade Runner and William Gibson’s fiction.
Cyberpunk 2077 would also have selectable character classes and lots of high-tech upgrades, weapons, and implants to choose from, but further details were sparse.
News of Cyberpunk quieted down for half a year before it re-emerged in January 2013, first with a teaser image showing off a police badge from a Night City officer, and the next day with its very first trailer – a brief teaser showing a heavily augmented human whose high-tech modifications have caused her to go berserk and massacre several people using protractible scythes from her forearms.
MAX-TAC agents, also known as Psycho Squad, are the heavily armed officers responsible with combating exactly this type of violence, and are shown riddling her with bullets that barely leave a dent on her skin.
For a long time, CD Projekt Red only provided small pieces of information about the status and development of Cyberpunk 2077.
In February 2013, CD Projekt Red announced REDengine3, a new version of its in-house game engine and the one that would power The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt and Cyberpunk 2077. While The Witcher 3 was indeed powered by REDengine3, CD Projekt Red ended up announcing a newer version, REDengine4, in 2017, which is now the engine powering the upcoming Cyberpunk 2077.
A few months later, an interview with game director Mateusz Kanik revealed several details on how the idea for Cyberpunk 2077 came to be, and CD Projekt Red’s unique approach to the material. Kanik explained, for example, how players will be able to customize their character’s look, and how their style of dress may influence the way NPCs treat them.
“It’s about telling story via what happens, not cutscenes or other features,” Kanik said. “To do that we need to create a totally new unique dialogue system – we’re doing that right now, it should be awesome.”
In July, a presentation at SIGGRAPH 2013 revealed that Cyberpunk 2077 would be played in a mix of first- and third-person. At New York Comic-Con in October 2013, Rafal Jaki – business development manager at CD Projekt Red – told Polygon that Cyberpunk 2077 would most likely come to next-gen consoles (now referring to the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One), but that it was “too early” to confirm or deny.
While Cyberpunk 2077 was missing from E3 2014, we did hear from it again in January 2015, when Michał Platkow-Gilewski – director of PR at CD Projekt Red – confirmed Cyberpunk 2077 was still in development, but that all resources were being focused entirely on The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (which had been hit with a handful of delays) for the time being.
In May 2015, CD Projekt Red CEO and president Adam Kiciński told Reuters that the studio would not speak about Cyberpunk 2077 again until 2017 while they focused efforts on The Witcher 3 for the next couple of years. But as it turned out, CD Projekt Red didn’t go completely silent.
Joint CEO Marcin Iwiński and Platkow-Gilewski spoke to IGN at E3 2015 about why they released the Cyberpunk teaser so early in development, and in October, visual effects artist Jose Teixeira spoke to MCV about how Cyberpunk is “far bigger than anything else that CD Projekt Red has done before.” That’s a sentiment we heard echoed again this year, when Kiciński told PC Gamer that “Cyberpunk is [their] new Witcher 3, but even more ambitious.”
A rumor from Gamereactor Germany spread in December 2015 that “a source close to [CD Projekt Red]” claimed the studio was planning to launch Cyberpunk 2077 in 2016. That, as we know now, was false.
In June 2017, CD Projekt Red penned an open letter to fans revealing that several Cyberpunk 2077 game files and documents had been stolen by an unidentified individual, and that the material was being held ransom. In the letter, CD Projekt Red stated that they would not be giving in to monetary demands and ensured fans that the documents were old and, if they should be leaked, should not be taken as representative of the studio’s current vision for the game.
“When the time is right, you will hear about Cyberpunk 2077 from us – officially,” wrote the team.
Besides a few peeps here and there – a Twitter update that Cyberpunk is “progressing as planned,” a clarification that Cyberpunk will not have hidden microtransactions, and word of CD Projekt Red opening up a third studio to aid development – news on Cyberpunk was relatively quiet between its big document leak and the first few months of 2018.
Then, in late March 2018, we got our first hint that Cyberpunk 2077 could be at E3. At CD Projekt Red’s financial results conference, Kiciński replied to a question about what the studio would show at E3 with, “We haven’t announced that yet. We will announce it just before.”
Fans took that to mean they would show something, as they could have just as easily said they aren’t showing anything. Kiciński did provide at least one piece of substantial information about the upcoming game, notably that it would launch as a single-player experience like The Witcher series. However, Kiciński didn’t discount the possibility of multiplayer.
The best confirmation yet that Cyberpunk 2077 will be at E3 2018 came on April 30, 2018, when the official E3 2018 exhibitor directory listed CD Projekt Red in attendance with an unspecified RPG for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. Check out our wiki for a full list of games at E3 2018.
Stay tuned to IGN for more news, rumors, trailers, and hopefully a first gameplay reveal for Cyberpunk 2077.
Chloi Rad is an Editor at IGN. Follow her on Twitter at @_chloi.