Cyberpunk 2077 is undoubtedly the strangest video game story of the year. “It’s a disaster” is actually a too nice arc for how things have played out, since it is more complicated than that. Yes, the game performed so poorly on the last generation consoles, it is now actually inspiring lawsuits, and even on other versions, the amount of bugs present will make Bethesda blush.
And yet I can see how the worm turns. After all the T-poses and no pants flaws, I see a lot of people discussing the game itself, and many … really like it a lot. And when it comes to being a “failure”
But while it’s clear, CDPR will spend the next few months at least fixing what’s broken and unfinished with the game (with major updates already announced for January and February), I’ll look further down the road. No, not to the “free DLC” promised next year, which if it is Witcher 3 level, should be relatively small additions. And not paid DLC later, which will be much more meaty, but if we ever see anything on the Blood and Wine scale again, I’ll be surprised.
No, rather I’m talking about CDPR’s announced multiplayer for Cyberpunk 2077, which they said would take place in Night City, but be a separate experience from the main campaign. And the more I play Cyberpunk 2077, the more I understand exactly what they’re doing.
It’s GTA Online. They are trying to make a GTA Online.
Of course, it is difficult to blame them. GTA Online is a money-printing machine for Rockstar, and while that may be why GTA 6 never seems to come, it has helped make GTA 5 the best-selling major release of all time, and the web component alone has generated billions in revenue from microtransactions.
When you play Cyberpunk, you can obviously see the framework in place. The expensive weapons, the outfits, the cars are all there. There are barebones of races, robberies, assassinations and other GTA Online-style activities. Hell photo mode constantly produces shots that literally seem to be retrieved from GTA Online. The groundwork is laid, and really the most important thing is to add the inevitable PvP component. The difference is that Cyberpunk is FPS all the time, with no third-party option.
Believe me when I say this is the playoffs, and when it comes, it will be full of all kinds of new CDPR-based controversies, I’m sure. For example, the reason why GTA Online is as profitable as it is? Unlimited microtransactions that permeate every inch of the game, and whale players who spend hundreds and even thousands on having all the highest levels. “Shark Cards” is an endless topic of debate for GTA Online, and whatever it is about in Cyberpunk Online, will undoubtedly lead players to question CDPR’s previous position of not having intrusive microtranasctions. Granted, I’m recording something that CDPR does not even have finished yet, and yet, if online mode is free, and the point is to make money, it is difficult to envision a system that not involve GTA Online-style microtransactions, at least to some extent. CDPR has already lost many reputation points among fans with the condition Cyberpunk 2077 at release, so what is another bridge to cross, if it is profitable enough?
As was the case with GTA Online, I’m less interested in Cyberpunk Online than I would have been any major single-player DLC for Cyberpunk 2077, something GTA 5 never got. I think CDPR will do both, but I certainly expect a lot of pressure to become the next GTA Online by 2022. These launch issues will fade, but this game will go through a number of phases and you can bet that Online is it last playoff.
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