The future of Cyberpunk 2077 multiplayer is much less certain after CD Projekt Red has announced a shift in its corporate strategy — and we might be waiting longer than we expected to.
Cyberpunk 2077 is slowly working its way towards a more functional state after months of post-launch patches and other fixes. CD Projekt Red most recently revealed the list of planned changes for Update 1.2 and there's probably still a fair amount of work to do in the coming years.
One notable omission in this patch is multiplayer. That shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone following the game; CD Projekt Red had previously said that Cyberpunk 2077 multiplayer wouldn't be coming out for quite some time. What that will look like, however, is an even bigger mystery than before.
What's Happening with Cyberpunk 2077 Multiplayer?
Cyberpunk 2077 multiplayer was previously confirmed in late 2019 when CD Projekt Red explicitly stated that it was in development.
"Until now, the only thing we said about multi was that it was in R&D," CD Projekt Red said in a Twitter thread from late 2019. "As we’re getting closer to launching ‘single player’ Cyberpunk 2077 in Apr. 2020, we’d like to confirm that multiplayer's in the works! The plan for now is to deliver Cyberpunk 2077 in April, then follow up with DLCs (free!) and single player content, and — once we’re done — invite you for some multiplayer action."
Previously, we hinted that our next AAA would be a multiplayer Cyberpunk game, but we have decided to reconsider this plan. – Adam Kiciński, CD Projekt Red President and Joint CEO
Now, however, it seems that those plans might have changed. CD Projekt Red has released a "strategy update" video explaining its corporate strategy to investors (and the general public), and part of this strategy has changed in a way that will affect Cyberpunk 2077 multiplayer.
Simply put, CD Projekt Red is seeking to expand its games into more mediums. That means more side games, more online interactivity with its existing properties, and more agile development. Here's what CDPR's President and Join CEO Adam Kiciński had to say on the subject:
And now, we move on to the third and final building block of our development framework: expanding online capabilities. We aim to make online technologies an important part of our future games and to use GOG Galaxy to grow global communities of gamers.
Let's stress this here: CD Projekt Red makes single-player, story-driven, AAA 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.
Previously, we hinted that our next AAA would be a multiplayer Cyberpunk game, but we have decided to reconsider this plan. Given our new more systematic and 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.
We are building an online technology that can be seamlessly integrated into development of our future games. This technology will power online components we choose to introduce in our games and will ensure we can do so without any great technological debt. With this technology in place, we can start to grow an online community powered by our own GOG Galaxy platform which connects gamers both inside and outside of our games.
Long-term iteration means constantly learning and improving as we go. Our technical knowledge will expand. Our expertise will become stronger. And online elements will become a logical, coherent part of our business.
What we know for sure is that a standalone Cyberpunk 2077 multiplayer game seems unlikely. The list of what we don't know, in comparison, is much longer.
Kiciński says that CDPR will be bringing online into all of its franchises "one day." The tone of this language implies that online integration could be quite a ways off — perhaps even several years.
There's also the fact that it's "reconsidering" its plans for a standalone Cyberpunk 2077 multiplayer game. "Reconsider" in this case could have several meanings. It may mean that the multiplayer game is canceled, or it may be delayed. CD Projekt Red is being pretty vague here, but it's never been quite keen on sharing details about an unfinished project so we can't say for certain either way.
Finally, take note that this mysterious new technology is said to be used for "its future games." On that wording alone, we may not get multiplayer for Cyberpunk 2077 at all; instead, we might have to wait for an eventual sequel.
For now, it seems that Cyberpunk 2077 multiplayer may be dependent on this new technology that will "power online components" for its various games. How that affects Cyberpunk 2077 or any of CDPR's other games, however, will remain a mystery for now.
Are you disappointed that you might have to wait longer for Cyberpunk 2077 multiplayer? Would you want to run around in Night City in a fashion similar to GTA Online? Let us know in the comments below!