Following last night's announcement that Cyberpunk 2077 is delayed from April into September, CD Projekt gave a wee update on when we should expect its mysterious multiplayer aspect: probably not until 2022, at earliest. They'd never said when to expect the project (which is officially codenamed Cyberpunk Multiplayer) but we do now know when not to expect it. The Witcher devs also expanded on why it is they've chosen to delay their new open-world RPG's launch, saying it really just has a lot to polish because it's so complex.
"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," CD Projekt board members Michał Nowakowski explained in a teleconference Q&A for investors last night.
Previously, CD Projekt had said they planned to follow Cyberpunk 2077's launch "with DLCs (free!) and singleplayer content, and – once we're done – invite you for some multiplayer action." Presumably that's still the plan, the plan is just starting later.
As for the delay, joint-CEO Adam Kiciński expanded on their original explanation that they needed more time for polish:
"There's technical bugfixing and polishing, but as we've said – we have the game. It's playable; the whole game. It's been like that for a couple of months. But it's fairly complex – 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."
While they are delaying the game for polish, they're not delaying it long enough for the work to be completed on a humane schedule.
Asked by one caller whether the developers would be required to work crunch hours, Kiciński responded, "To some degree, yes – to be honest. We try to limit crunch as much as possible, but it is the final stage. We try to be reasonable in this regard, but yes. Unfortunately."
Cyberpunk 2077 is now due to launch on September 17th, pushed back from April 16th. In the meantime, hey, perhaps you might like to read our interview with Mike Pondsmith, the writer of the original Cyberpunk pen & paper roleplaying game.