CD Projekt Red has been at pains to keep the conversation away from Cyberpunk 2077 in recent years. The Polish developer announced the game very early in order to attract talent to the studio, but then stopped discussing Cyberpunk 2077 entirely while The Witcher: Wild Hunt launched. This secrecy only intensified after the enormous success of The Witcher 3, as expectations rose dramatically about what the studio would be able to achieve next.
That the Cyberpunk 2077 Twitter account would reactivate earlier this month after a four-year silence - if only to say "*beep*" - should be considered significant, then.
*beep*— Cyberpunk 2077 (@CyberpunkGame) January 10, 2018
And that CD Projekt Red didn't deny a report about Cyberpunk 2077 being at E3 2018 but opted for a tight-lipped 'no comment' may be significant too. "We do not comment on rumours and speculations," CDPR told me.
It's certainly not a no like CDPR co-founder Marcin Iwinski gave me in 2016 when I asked about rumours Cyberpunk 2077 would be at E3 that year. "It might happen that we will be at E3 and we will show something at E3, but I just want to make it clear it's not Cyberpunk," he told me. "We still have a lot of work to do with Cyberpunk.
"Right now it's the end of talking about Cyberpunk," he went on to say, "until we can go out there and show stuff and say, 'Hey, here it is,' because that's how we do games," he said. "There is too much talking about what it possibly could be, and how big, and...
"When we show it, we should show it and explain it. So I'm going to have people not read anything about Cyberpunk probably for the next... time, whatever the time will be."
The Polish GryOnline report mentioned above claimed two separate sources had told it Cyberpunk 2077 would be shown both in a trailer at E3, and behind closed doors to press, in playable form.
This all-in approach tallies with Iwinski's comments above, and with his admiration for how Bethesda revealed Fallout 4.
In 2015, Iwinski told IGN: "We're impressed with Fallout 4's rollout. [Bethesda] came on stage and said, 'It's here, it's real, and it's coming out on this date.' We're going to do something similar. We're going to wait [to reveal Cyberpunk 2077] until we can show off a very meaningful piece of it."
Iwinski isn't necessarily saying Cyberpunk 2077 will come out six months after the reveal, as Fallout 4 did, but he is suggesting there will be an end clearly in sight.
Dare we hold our breath for an autumn 2018 release? Cyberpunk 2077 could certainly go toe-to-toe with the blockbusters. Or will CDPR opt for a spring release in the style of The Witcher 3 (a window Rockstar prefers), winning it even more development time? And whose E3 stage will Cyberpunk 2077 be on?
Cyberpunk 2077 has been in development for a long time, and has help from the man who created the Cyberpunk pen-and-paper inspiration for the game, Mike Pondsmith. "It's pretty flashy I tell ya," Mike Pondsmith told me last summer, when we met. "We go, 'Yeah. Yeah. Yeah! You told me this is good - but this is really cool.'"
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