Cyberpunk 2020's Creator Talks About 2077's Wider Message

By Heidi Nicholas,
This generation of consoles may be coming to an end, but there's still one its most anticipated games yet to release: Cyberpunk 2077. With the constant hype around this game, the name alone is enough to spark off some answering images in your mind. When you think of Cyberpunk 2077, you think of the player character V and his motorbike, of Keanu Reeves as Johnny Silvehand, and of a smooth ultra-urban futuristic setting. But the world of Cyberpunk 2077 is also dark, polluted, corrupt and grim, divvied up between various bloodthirsty factions, and Mike Pondsmith, the creator of Cyberpunk 2020, says that in games like this, the wider message is laid out "like a trap".

Cyberpunk 2077

Pondsmith mentions this in an interview with GamesIndustry. As they noted in their article, it's easy to get hooked into the idea of the game from its slick weapons and technology. Pondsmith touches on this, and the wider themes beyond it. He notes one example in particular: "Sooner or later, there's that moment where you stop and look at your hands as V [the game's protagonist], and you go 'my hands have been cut off at the elbows, and they're now machines.' I think a lot of times when you want your message out there about something that's bigger than a game, you have to let them find it themselves. We just lay it out like a trap and they step on it." Pondsmith further touches upon the idea of letting players find things out for themselves when talking about the portrayal of gender in the game, where he says that "if you want to get somebody to kind of see your point of view, don't preach".

Pondsmith seems hugely excited about the enthusiasm for the game, which he refers to as "the Empire Strikes Back of the Cyberpunk world". "I'm just kind of astounded at how much positive reactions people have, that people really want to see this game and they're rooting for it," he says, but he's also aware of the increased difficulty in making such massive games. "AAA titles are a lot of the ways they are because they're expensive as heck...You know, when I started, it was three guys banging away in a garage somewhere, and that's not happening now." That doesn't mean he's too nostalgic about the old days, as he continues to say: "But the thing is, pen and paper isn't what it was, either. We led the desktop publishing revolution in gaming as Talsorian, but the stuff we produce now is far and away just astoundingly beautiful, visually."

E3 2018 stills

It's been a while since we've had any real detail about Cyberpunk 2077, but that's not too surprising. There's still over four months to go before it releases on April 16th 2020. CD Projekt RED will likely need to stagger their reveals to make sure there's still enough kept secret for the players, especially if they're pursuing the strategy of letting players find things out for themselves. If you'd like a refresher on what we know so far, be sure to check out our last roundup for Cyberpunk 2077.
Heidi Nicholas
Written by Heidi Nicholas
Hey, I'm Heidi! I've just finished studying a Masters in English Literature, but I've been obsessed with gaming since long before then. I began on the PS2 with Spyro, before graduating to the Xbox 360 and disappearing into Skyrim. I'm now a loyal RPG fan, but I still like to explore other genres — when I'm not playing Assassin's Creed Odyssey, or being lured back into Red Dead Redemption 2 or The Witcher 3!