In the past, licensed games were either deliberate money-grabs or struggled to remain true to the source material. A couple of Spider-Man titles in the PlayStation 2 era helped subvert this notion, as did RockSteady’s Batman: Arkham series. However, the stigma persists in many respects. If all goes well, Cyberpunk 2077 could be another title that helps remove the stink from licensed games. Series Creator Mike Pondsmith certainly seems to believe that’ll be the case. In truth, his confidence in CD Projekt RED is through the roof. Not only does he feel the team is being faithful to his tabletop RPG, Cyberpunk 2020, he chose the Polish studio over other teams because they’re fans first.
Pondsmith recently spoke with Video Game Chronicles, and was asked whether an adaptation of his pen and paper title could’ve been faithfully created before now. To him, the answer is a simple, “yes.” Yet, only CD Projekt RED can deliver what’s currently being produced. He told the publication,
Yes, but that’s not why it’s working now. The reason is that from the start CDPR are fans: they play the [pen and paper] game. Many of them grew up playing the game. So this is like a bunch of guys who watched the Star Wars movies as kids and then got a chance to make a Star Wars game: they would do the best damn job they could.
That is why we went with them. This game has been optioned for years to many, many different studios. But what I saw in CD Projekt was that they really cared about it and the things that were important to us were important to them. So I knew it was in good hands.
Apparently, CD Projekt also represented the perfect fit as the team sees Cyberpunk 2020 for what made it special and aims to imitate that in Cyberpunk 2077. Other developers Pondsmith supposedly met with throughout the years appeared more interested in the “Blade Runner-esque qualities.”
We have a unique take on the cyberpunk genre: it’s a heroic kind of cyberpunk in this sort of dirty, gritty way, but you can still be the hero. That’s unusual for the genre and a lot of the game companies who have been interested before saw maybe the Blade Runner-esque qualities, but they didn’t see the weird, fun and dangerous, risky elements. It’s hard to describe. It was the ethos of the 80s, that a lone person with a gun and an attitude could change the world.
The wait to see how this all unfolds is slowly drawing to an end. Cyberpunk 2077 will come to the PlayStation 4, PC, and Xbox One on April 16, 2020. Those interested in picking up the Collector’s Edition would probably do well to preorder one as quickly as possible.