CD Projekt RED's Mystery AAA Title is Cyberpunk 2077's Multiplayer

Following on from the news that Cyberpunk 2077 has been delayed until September, we’ve now got more details about its multiplayer component. In a teleconference, CD Projekt Red employees held a Q&A session in which they confirmed that their other mystery AAA title is the multiplayer component of Cyberpunk 2077 — and that it’s unlikely we’ll see it before 2022. Taking part in the Q&A were Adam Kicinski, joint-CEO of CDPR, Piotr Nielubowicz, CFO, and Michal Nowakowski, the board member responsible for publishing. They cover several interesting points in their answers: aside from confirming Cyberpunk Multiplayer as their AAA title, and that its release date is further back, they also mention that whilst they are thinking about the next-generation of consoles such as the Xbox Series X, they’re still sticking with their focus on the current generation.

The Q&A gave us a lot of details. Firstly, the confirmation about multiplayer: when asked about what else CDPR was working on besides Cyberpunk and its multiplayer , Kicinski replied that “Currently we’re working on Cyberpunk and the multiplayer as the next big game.” When the questioner pushed further, asking, “To clarify – there’s no work on the next AAA game besides Cyberpunk and its multiplayer?” Kicinski confirmed this clearly, saying, “Yes, I mean, the AAA we’re working on in parallel is Cyberpunk Multiplayer”. Nowakowski also confirmed this: “In terms of multiplayer, one thing we need to make clear is that the AAA release we’re working on in parallel with CP2077 is Cyberpunk Multiplayer”, he said. Kicinski also emphasises that “Cyberpunk Multiplayer” is just a codename for the project while it’s in development, and that they’re “trying to be as clear as possible” about what they’re working on. Both Kicinski and Nowakowski confirmed that we likely won’t be seeing Cyberpunk Multiplayer until after 2021: “So, given the expected release of Cyberpunk 2077 in September and the series of events which we expect to occur after that date, 2021 appears unlikely as the release date for Cyberpunk Multiplayer,” Nowakowski said, with Kicinski later adding that “The release date of Cyberpunk Multiplayer will probably move beyond 2021.” Since Cyberpunk itself has been delayed, there was some worry about what this would mean for CDPR’s future projects; their future game releases, post-launch for Cyberpunk, and so on. Kicinski addressed this worry, saying that, “In terms of further plans I think that everything will move with this delay”. It seems as though Cyberpunk’s delay will have had a knock-on effect for the release dates of all of CDPR’s future projects.

They were also questioned about how they felt about Cyberpunk’s new release date; whether they were worried it was a more competitive time to release a game than April, when the game was previously intended to release. “We believe that our game – deep single-player RPG with a nice story – will find its place on the market regardless of date”, Kicinski said, “so that’s our approach.” Considering that September is much closer to the release of both Microsoft and Sony’s next gen consoles, the CDPR team were also questioned about what this would mean for the game; whether it would now be targeted for the Xbox Series X and PS5. “Is this gonna change your thinking in terms of gearing towards next-gen consoles or will you carry on with the plan you have in place?” One reporter asked, to which Kicinski replied that CDPR are keeping their focus on the current generation of consoles. “We are going with the same plan. As we said, our games are always designed for strong machines. We are thinking about the next generation, but for now we are focused on the current generation and the plan is still valid.”

They seem confident about the work ahead, saying that they “definitely have much more experience than [they] had with The Witcher project”, and that as a result, they’re “confident with the September 17 date.” It doesn’t sound as though there were huge problems causing the delay; as CDPR said in their statement, and as Kicinski says now, “It’s playable; the whole game. It’s been like that for a couple of months. But it’s fairly complex”, he continues. “There are just some glitches, but we’re not talking about some fundamental mechanisms, but with the level of complexity, polishing is just a complex task. It’s about the number of things we have to take care of rather than some fundamental problem… We are constantly evaluating the game and we decided if we are to delay this is the right moment, and that with the decision to add five months we would be really sure that we can deliver what we had planned.” He mentions that it was a tough decision, and that even the team was only informed “minutes ago”, but that they’re all confident in the choice to delay the game. Most developers, when announcing the delay of their project, say it’s to provide the best game they can: CDPR say the extra five months will allow them to “deliver a perfect game.” As a result of the delay, the development team will be putting in extra hours. “We try to limit crunch as much as possible,” Kicinski said, “but it is the final stage. We try to be reasonable in this regard, but yes. Unfortunately.”

They refused to be drawn on when they’d next have announcements for the game, saying only that we can expect news before September, and “probably with some pause in summertime”. However, Nowakowski commented that “We’re really preparing to push the game to the ratings language – the ones that stamp the age rating on boxes, and there’s a lot of them around the world. PEGI in Europe, ESRB in the US and whatnot. We do require some further testing, so I’m not saying that’s happening tomorrow or next week, but it’s not far away – and that’s as far as I can go.” Cyberpunk 2077 isn’t the only game to have been delayed; Marvel’s Avengers will now also be releasing in September, and there are a number of 2019 games which have been pushed back to this year or later. We’ll update you as soon as we know more about Cyberpunk 2077 and its multiplayer.

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