Last week, CD Projekt Red announced via Twitter that its upcoming sci-fi RPG, Cyberpunk 2077, would be making an appearance at this year’s E3. It’s been a year since the anticipated title’s formal reveal, and more than half that since the first public gameplay footage was shown, so it would’ve been a good guess that a release date would finally be announced at this year’s E3, hopefully for a late 2019 launch. However, in a recent developer’s video showcasing the process behind the development, the team stated that there was still much work to be done, suggesting a later release date than expected.
In the video posted on the PS4 channel, a narrator voiced-over some key facts regarding the game’s development, while key members of the team spoke about the decision-making behind certain gameplay elements. For the past 5 years since its teaser reveal, CDPR has been hard at work trying to produce an incredibly ambitious, truly free-form open-world RPG, one that has a scale yet unseen in video games. With this ideology, the team justified the seemingly lack of info this past half decade with the fact that video game development goes through constant ebb and flow, where ideas that were scrapped are dug up again, and the later iterations massively differ from initial concepts.
Deviating from its norm of focusing on a central character, e.g, Geralt, the developers stressed the need for a fully customizable main character, in order to fully immerse gamers. The shift to first-person was also meant to underscore the verticality and scale of the hub world, to engage the players as if they’re actually part of a living world. Such ambitions attracted quite a few challenges, including how to scale first-person driving. By its nature, driving a car in an open-world automatically shrinks the map, so the team had to adjust certain design elements to encompass that “feeling of vastness.”
In its ending statement, the narrator emphatically states that “work on it [the game] is far from over,” undoubtedly disappointing fans everywhere. Chances are, though the game might see a playable demo and more in-depth overview of the game at E3 this year, a release date might be farther away still. However, abiding by the gaming mantra of not rushing out an incomplete product, perhaps the narrator also summed it up best: “It’s coming – when it’s ready.”