Cyberpunk 2077, the chrome’n’killing follow-up to The Witcher 3, was all the talk of E3, but one thing the developers didn’t do was make free with a release date. It’s been six long years since the game was announced, but, according to some new interviews, it sounds as though we’ll be cranking that number higher before this thing finally arrives on whatever subcutaneous implant we’ll be using instead of hard drives by that point.
The hungry eyes of that part of the internet which really, really wants to attack people with mechanical spiders have seized upon two post-E3 comments that give more sense of where, exactly, development is at.
Polish finance site Bankier (as clocked by VG247) this week ran an interview with CD Projekt prez Adam Kiciński, in which he refuted beliefs that the Cyberpunk demo shown behind closed doors at E3 was an alpha build of the game. “”No, earlier…” he said (or so Google Translate says he said), “therefore, we show the game behind closed doors – this is not the final quality yet”.
Pre-alpha, in other words, which really can mean anything – we often see pre-alpha versions on games on Steam Early Access, for instance – but on a project of Cyberpunk’s mammoth, open-world scale most likely means there’s a long, long way to go yet.
Less surprisingly, he noted that the demo build was “the the most polished part of the game we have now, prepared in some sense to show it to people outside the company.” I.e. we shouldn’t take what lucky shmucks such as our Brendy got to see first hand at E3 as an implication that there’s hours and hours more stuff like that ready and waiting to go.
Then there’s a comment made by Mike Pondsmith (who, by the way, has excellent sunglasses, even if he is wearing them inside a dark convention centre), creator of the original Cyberpunk 2020 pen’n’paper RPG, to videoman YongYea at E3. This is the one you might want to sit down for. “I waited 30 years to get this. It was worth it. You guys can wait a few more years.”
So not 2019, then. Cyberpunk 2020 though – that makes too much sense, both because of the resonance with the source material and because unsubstantiated rumours have it that we might see a new console or two by then. I imagine both Microsoft and Sony are lining up to throw money at CDP in the hope of getting an exclusive.
Even then, Pondsmith’s comments were clearly off the cuff, he knows full well that he can’t give a release date, plus this thing’s been in production for so long that I wouldn’t be at all surprised if the years melt into one another when the devs talk about it. But I’m pretty sure that, between that quote and the pre-alpha thing, we’ll need to find something else to do in 2019.
For more on what we do know about this game, here’s Dave with a handy round-up of Cyberpunk 2077 details so far.