After their latest Night City Wire episode, CD Projekt Red dropped some interesting information about Cyberpunk 2077. They’ve apparently cut the story to be shorter than originally planned, which is all because of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. That might sound a little foggy, but when you get into the details it really does start to make sense, I promise.
The Witcher 3 is a fantastic game. It’s so good that it’s coming to PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X and S. So many people loved it when it first came out, and the same will be true when it releases again for next-generation consoles. The one thing that everyone knows about it though, is that it’s extremely long. A playthrough of the story will set you back 51 hours, whilst a completionist run will cost you 120 hours. That’s a lot of time to invest in a single game, and understandably a lot of people didn’t.
What you might not realise however, is that the majority of people didn’t finish The Witcher 3. This is the primary driver behind keeping Cyberpunk 2077 short. CD Projekt Red wants people to finish their game, not get 10 hours into the story, spend 40 hours on side quests, and then give up. Whilst this could be avoided by making it clearer to players when they’re on a story quest, there’s also an argument for not ruining the experience with too many in-game prompts.
I think that the decision to make a shorter main story is a wise one. I love The Witcher 3, but I’ll be the first to admit that I haven’t finished it. It’s a long slog, and takes a lot of dedication around work and life to actually finish. Certainly for casual gamers, I would say that it’s a game to avoid. For those who want to experience an incredible story full of life and character though, it’s one that’s worth playing for as long as you can.
what does this say about games though? CD Projekt Red has compromised their overall vision for the sake of people finishing their game. Does that mean that it’s better or worse? This is really a question for the developers themselves, but I think that there’s definitely an argument for both sides.