CD Projekt Red Says Cyberpunk 2077 Will Be 'No Bullshit' Story-Driven RPG

The Polish game studio tweeted earlier today that its upcoming scifi game would be "nothing less than" The Witcher 3. The statement was aimed at quelling fears Cyberpunk 2077 might include microtransactions after studio CEO Adam Kicinski said "there will be a certain online element related to Cyberpunk" in an interview earlier in the week.

Ever since the controversy around loot boxes reached a fever pitch with Battlefront II, some people have been enthusiastically parsing any and all comments related to CD Projekt Red's future game.

In addition to online features, Kicinski also said in the same interview that "Online is necessary, or very recommended if you wish to achieve a long-term success," it seemed to suggest the game would be moving beyond the traditional single-player roots of The Witcher series.

Threads started popping up on Reddit discuss what the CEOs comments might mean, afraid of what a games-as-service model might mean for one of the best RPG makers out there.

When the YouTube channel Pretty Good Gaming tweeted out a link to its analysis of the topic, CD Projekt Red responded:

The response appears to reaffirm the studio's commitment to single-play at a time when many story-focused AAA games are struggling (or canceled altogether).

But CD Projekt Red went even further, taking shots at game companies who have embraced game design that prioritises microtransactions in no uncertain terms.

"No hidden catch," "get what you pay for," "no bullshit," and "we leave greed to others" is as explicit a call out of EA's treatment of Battlefront II as you're likely to see from another developer.

As public backlash to the new Star Wars game's pay-to-win mechanics and onerous loot box grinding mounted earlier in the week, EA announced it would temporarily be pulling all microtransactions from the game.

But while many took it as a sign the company was caving on one of its most lucrative new revenue streams, EA has yet to confirm that it won't simply bring microtransactions back once the outrage has died down.

When asked by the Washington Post if EA could guarantee that "pay to win" mechanics had been removed from the game altogether, the company declined to say anything further than what it laid out in Thursday's announcement.

Whether the backlash being reported as widely as the Post and CNN will change Battlefront II beyond the short term, it's certainly put pressure on other game companies to clarify their positions on the subject.

Cyberpunk 2077 remains several years out from release, however, and in the meanwhile CD Projekt Red has faced other criticisms over office working conditions, some of which resulted in a torrent of negative reviews on the employer feedback site Glass Door only a month ago.


    "No hidden catch," "get what you pay for," "no bullshit," and "we leave greed to others" is as explicit a call out of EA's treatment of Battlefront II as you're likely to see from another developer.

    That is NOT what they said. They did NOT mention a company and they did NOT mention a title. But you did. In the same sentence no less.

    You're putting words into their mouths and that is shitty, shitty journalism. be better kotaku!

      It's pretty obvious that's what they were referencing. It's not shitty journalism to read between the lines.

        It is to draw a direct relationship that may or may not be there.

        They were answering a question, not making a statement and this is a philosophy that they have been espousing for years. Since long before the latest scandal.

          Holding the stance for years and making a between-the-lines remark on the current scandal aren't mutually exclusive. They're well aware that the terms "commercially significant" and "games as a service" have a lot of heat on them at the moment because of EA, and their comment seems intended to address concerns about those two directly.

          In any case, shining light on potential relationships between events is generally good journalism, not bad. The article doesn't say that CDPR said it directly, just that what was said is as close to a criticism of recent events as a company is likely to give. That strikes me as a perfectly reasonable inference to make, one I made myself as soon as I read it.

            Because you were told it.

            They literally told you that.

              No, because I can exercise my own rational thought. I saw CDPR's tweet this morning on Imgur before coming here.

                Ok. You're obviously down with it. That's cool man.

                I personally hate being told what to think. With a passion. Which is probably fairly obvious to everyone now.

                  I can appreciate that. I don't personally feel like that's the case here, but everyone's line is different.

                  You should think calm thoughts.

        No it's not obvious.

        You are obviously not a journalist, because if you were you'd know we don't draw long straws. If this journalist wanted to make that connection then he needed to contact the company and get a clarification.

        As it stands he has done a poorly written blog post, not a piece of professional journalism, and your brand hostility does not forgive bad journalism.

          Sorry, maybe I should have said it's obvious to anyone capable of considering context. If you're indeed a journalist yourself, you should have studied new journalism, opinion journalism, interpretive journalism at university and know that journalism is much more broad-reaching than just clinical fact coverage.

          What brand hostility do you think there is in my post?

          Last edited 20/11/17 12:29 pm

            Your obvious brand hostility to EA.

            You don't link quotations to attacks, nor attribute motive unless the company has stated as such, or you have evidence rather than inference that it is as such.

            This was a provided statement, and if you want to make the link then you contact the company for a statement.

            If you had studied journalism then you'd you know this basic principle. Don't interpret media statements. Contextualise, don't attribute motive.

            It's cool you can google for journalism terms, but practice is a little different.

            "Is as explicit a call out of ea..." is attribution of motive. True or not, it is an interpreted motive which puts words in the company's mouth.

            All he had to was contact them for clarification.

              See again interpretive journalism. Its entire purpose is to interpret facts. Maybe start with this paper.

              Your obvious brand hostility to EA.

              Can you point out where in my post above I even mentioned EA, let alone showed any hostility towards them? Is this an example of your journalistic rigour?

          I hope you've got a good editor to sort your straws from your bows.

          this is a blog site not a professional news agency.

            Wrong. It is a professional games journalism website. Blogs are still journalism, but you give them slack because they are untrained unprofessionals making personal commentary.

            This guy got paid to write by a media company. That makes it a professional piece and in need of professional standards.

            Don't attribute motive. Get a statement from the company, or provide contextual information

            "This comes as EA has been placed under investigation by the Belgium government..."

            If you want to claim the statement is an attack against EA then get proof.

              The article says it's as explicit as you're likely to get. Which is true, because it's attacking bad behaviour and EA is engaging in that behaviour.

      Given the current hot story in gaming news right now, who else do you think they are referring to? They can't mention anyone by name because there may be legal repercussions from it, but it's pretty obvious who they are taking aim at here.

        If you spend any time reading official statements regardless if its public or private, youll find that companies are always very careful with what they put out so not to get in legal trouble/ bad press.

        Its all about reading between the lines and context. Whats the biggest discussion that is all over the ENTIRE games industry? Microtransactions and Battlefront 2. CD Projekt Red put out a statement condemning a single player game ruined by the profit needs of company. Not hard to link the dots.

        Which is exactly what the excellent Kotaku journalists have done/ are able to do due to their experience.

        Have a good day.

          The idea is supposed to be we're given the facts. Ie "they made a statement in response to a question, this is what they said" and then you join the dots for yourself.

          But this is literally a journalist giving you an opinion as fact. Giving you your opinion, since you now share it. And you're down with it. Pretty interesting stuff.

            You're not wrong (although I don't share your confidence on the inception part). Other news agencies like the New York Times do their utmost to avoid anything not strictly fact-based, but Kotaku's pretty open on being an informal website where the authors share their opinion when reporting news. Readers should be made fully aware of that when reading, for context reasons, and Kotaku should probably make it a bit more clear because I've seen your sort of comment a few times. There are advantages to informal journalism as it creates a culture of open communication, but it's not for everyone. I'm not sure what to recommend instead, as most of the online sources I use are pretty similar, but I 'd guess newspapers' games sections are more traditional.

        They're not taking aim at anyone. They're answering a question posed to them by a journalist in the same way they've been answering them for years. For long before the current scandal they've acted in this way.

        It's a good example of the news cycle. It become self perpetuating and companies and people become afraid to say anything because then a journalist will say "See. Proof that they're really meaning this!"

        This is exactly what's occuring in this article. I'm really surprised that a lot of you guys are cool with being told what to think in this way.

          If all they were doing was answering a question, they would have simply said "No, Cyberpunk 2077 will not contain microtransactions or anything like loot boxes. It will be the same kind of experience as The Witcher 3" - and left it at that.

          But they didn't leave it at that, did they? They added phrases like "no bullshit", "just honest gaming" and "we leave greed to others". They didn't need to do that - those phrases didn't have anything to do with answering the question. But they did anyway. Why do you suppose they added those lines? Couldn't be because of some other big company causing controversy in the gaming industry right now...could it?

          CDPR have a history of doing this type of thing as well - they have fired shots at other practices like DRM in the past when prominent games were causing controversy regarding their use of it.

            Look at it from the opposite angle. If EA hadn't caused such a shitstir with BF2 and lootboxes, what benefit is there from including the lines you reference?

            I cant think of any.

            With THE story of the past seven days in gaming, to any casual observer that's what they are referencing. If someone disagrees, that's their choice, but to many, me included, the link appears clear.

            CDPR was talking about EA.

            If you know their history of calling out what they think is bullshit, as per your DRM example (I'd forgotten that one), then it seems even more obvious. Hell, their anti-DRM view was a most entertaining questline in Witcher 3, its not like they don't bottle it up.

            They even started GOG because they disliked DRM so much...

      Yeah, it's a bit of a long bow. Honestly though I was more concerned about the specific content of the article. For me, the take away from the interview was the exact opposite of what the headline suggests (notwithstanding that the headline is, technically, purely factual).
      The response appears to reaffirm the studio's commitment to single-play at a time when many story-focused AAA games are strugglingThis would be a perfectly reasonable inference to draw based on their track record....except that Kicinski explicitly contradicts this at the end of the interview, saying that they're going to pivot Cyberpunk 2077 to a persistent online, games as service model. The swipes they're taking at Battlefront 2 also reveal themselves as pure PR guff when placed alongside this statement of intent.

      So yeah, why is Kotaku just regurgitating PR guff at us and playing it off as analysis. The absence of any kind of mention of the contradictory nature of his statements seems like a glaring omission at best.

        All articles have to point towards the dominant narrative of the time, which right now is EA bad.

        Even if there's a deeper story there, they only see opportunities to link to what they want us thinking.

    I am now almost as worried about Cyberpunk 2077 as I am about Red Dead 2.

    Last edited 20/11/17 9:42 am

      Making massive games takes a lot of money. Being able to demonstrate financial stability means you can borrow money for cheaper which reduces their costs. The price of games has been pretty much stable for 20 years whereas costs have increased significantly. Something has to give.

      CDPR appear to be transparent and open about things. We should give them credit for that and not be naive enough to think that they are not interested in making money. Money for a business is analogous to oxygen for a human.

        That's....quite an inference. Who's suggesting that they're not interested in making money?

        The Witcher 3 clearly demonstrates the falsity of the increasing costs argument - it had no profit inflating microtransactions, no persistent online multiplayer, and it was so successful that CD Projekt Red literally don't need to borrow money to fund their future developments any more.

        What makes no sense then, is Kicinski's admission that their approach on the Witcher 3 was the reason that it was successful - followed immediately by him saying that they would not be using this model again for Cyberpunk 2077. PR doublespeak is not what I call transparent.

      I'm not. They're going to nail it.

      I hope! :)

    Are you other devs taking note?

      Probably not. Why bother crafting polished games to be successful when you can just roll whatever out, loaded with microtransactions? Hard to blame devs doing the latter - it's quicker, easier and (usually) less risky. TBH I blame the enabling consumers who reinforce these bad habits with their wallets.

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