Cyberpunk 2077 may not get any online multiplayer content, developer CD Projekt RED suggests. The developer had confirmed that multiplayer was taking a backseat to single player and that any multiplayer content would be added after launch, but it seems as though multiplayer could potentially be dropped entirely.
At Gamescom 2019, Eurogamer asked CD Projekt RED about the status of Cyberpunk 2077's online multiplayer. The game's senior concept artist Marthe Jonkers revealed that CD Projekt RED is now doing research and development into online multiplayer and that the single player is what players will get when Cyberpunk 2077 releases in 2020. "It doesn't mean we're saying no multiplayer, but it doesn't mean we're saying yes either. It's still an R&D phase" explained the developer.
Jonkers said that it's possible that online multiplayer won't fit Cyberpunk 2077 and that any multiplayer added to the game has to "be right." The developer also explained that "Immersion is super important for us and we have to make sure everything fits together. The single-player experience, it all fits together. We're not just going to slap some [multiplayer] feature in and that'll be it." It isn't news that CD Projekt RED takes immersion very seriously, having also confirmed that Cyberpunk 2077's cutscenes and NPCs have been designed for this, and this idea extends to adding new gameplay too.
Many fans may be disappointed hearing what Jonkers had to say. Fans had big plans for Cyberpunk 2077's online multiplayer after leaks suggested that the game's nightclubs would function like online hubs where players could hang out with their friends. These hubs, suggested leaks, would offer activities and mini-games for players to enjoy. While many would have been happy if Keanu Reeves' Johnny Silverhand was their only friend in the game, Cyberpunk 2077 fans were excited at the suggestion that they'd be able to see their buddies as well.
It's also surprising to hear CD Projekt RED say this after the company's CEO Adam Kiciński said that online multiplayer features are "necessary" for the long-term success of the game. Destiny 2 and Grand Theft Auto 5 are two games that are being played long after they were first released because of the popularity of their online multiplayer. While many fans are likely to enjoy Cyberpunk 2077 when it's first released, choosing never to add multiplayer could limit the game's long-term success and any potential revenue that CD Projekt RED could earn from it.
Cyberpunk 2077 will be released on April 16, 2020 on PC, PS4, and Xbox One, with a Stadia version also in development.