Rumors have been circling about Cyberpunk 2077's online features for quite some time, as fans continue to wonder what sort of connected gameplay they can expect. In a new interview, developer CD Projekt RED has finally addressed this speculation, shedding a little more light on its plans for the game.
Speaking to Polish investment site Strefa Inwestorow, CD Projekt RED CEO Adam Kiciński revealed that the developer is investing heavily in Cyberpunk 2077 and hopes to make it more financially successful than The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. Kiciński confirmed that "there will be a certain online element related to Cyberpunk," adding that "Online is necessary, or very recommended if you wish to achieve a long-term success."
The CEO didn't disclose exactly what those online features may be, but recent leaks suggested that Cyberpunk 2077 will have a connected, social hub. According to the leaks, these hubs may be found in bars and could allow players to take part in mini-games together. It's also reasonable to assume that CD Projekt RED will regularly update these hubs in an effort to keep Cyberpunk 2077 players engaged and invested in the game for longer.
However, some may fear that this means that Cyberpunk 2077 will feature microtransactions and loot boxes. Many other games that hope to keep players invested for a long time have microtransactions and loot boxes. These include games like Destiny 2, Grand Theft Auto 5 (Grand Theft Auto Online) and, most recently, Star Wars Battlefront 2.
Many of the more recent examples of the business model have been called exploitative, as fans argue that they unfairly make them grind or pay for content. There are also frustrations about games being 'pay to win' - allowing players to pay extra for an advantage in competitive multiplayer modes.
CD Projekt RED has already dabbled in microtransactions with Gwent: The Witcher Card Game which was a spin-off of The Witcher 3. Although microtransactions and card purchases in that game are mostly seen as reasonable, there is a fear that the developer will be more heavy-handed with its next game. Prospective Cyberpunk 2077 players are concerned that the developer will in the footsteps of these other, criticized titles.
It's likely that there is still a while to go until Cyberpunk 2077 is released as CD Projekt RED hasn't even confirmed which platforms the game is coming to. This means that the developer has plenty of time to address fans' worries about microtransactions and set their minds at ease.
Cyberpunk 2077 is currently without an official release date and has yet to be announced for specific platforms.