Saturday, December 9, 2023

Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty Boasts the Biggest Budget for an Expansion in CD Projekt Red’s History

Cyberpunk 2077’s Phantom Liberty expansion boasts the biggest budget for a CD Projekt Red additional content yet. Speaking to the Polish financial news outlet Parkiet, the developer’s investor relations manager Marek Bugdoł suggested that it was the biggest expansion in the studio’s history in terms of budget. The executive also stated that the company feels “comfortable” with the current work cycle on Phantom Liberty. Development on Cyberpunk 2077 was rushed to meet the 2021 launch date, resulting in a myriad of technical issues at launch.

While not explicitly mentioned, a certain chunk of the increased budget might have gone towards casting Idris Elba (The Suicide Squad, Molly’s Game) in a major role for the Phantom Liberty expansion. In it, he stars as Solomon Reed, an FIA agent for the “New United States of America,” a faction that the player character, V, pledges allegiance to. Plot details are scarce, but a teaser from September revealed that Keanu Reeves will be reprising his role as the magnetic Johnny Silverhand, who finds V’s newfound oath a “bad idea.” Expect tonnes of dead government officials, new characters, and an electric whip, as you take on an “impossible mission” of espionage and survival in Cyberpunk 2077’s upcoming expansion.

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Over on Cyberpunk 2077’s official subreddit, there was a small misunderstanding among members, who believed Phantom Liberty to be the “biggest expansion” in CD Projekt Red’s history — before Parkiet’s report was updated. However, community director Marcin Morton rose to the occasion and clarified that it was simply the biggest budget-wise. “Just wanted to point out that this part is about the biggest budget when it comes to expansion packs we’ve released. We will be talking more about the game scope-related details in the future,” his comment reads. Currently, CD Projekt Red’s biggest paid expansion, in terms of scope, is The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt’s Blood and Wine, which added around 40 hours of gameplay to the base game.

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As reported previously, Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty will be a paid expansion. While pricing hasn’t been set yet, CDPR found it necessary to clarify the detail as the studio is known for dropping multiple add-on content for its titles. The free ones are coined the term “DLCs,” while the larger, long-term developed content is called an “expansion.”

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The long-dormant interest in Cyberpunk 2077 spiked after the premiere of the Netflix anime Cyberpunk: Edgerunners — at one point, attracting one million players daily, across both consoles and PC. Of course, a part of this resurgence had to do with the developers fixing a lot of the technical issues, which prevented players from having a good experience on the streets of Night City. A similar spike was seen with the player count of The Witcher 3 as well after the Henry Cavill-led live-action series dropped on Netflix.

Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty expansion releases sometime this year on PC, PS5, and Xbox Series S/X.


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