An anime series, a patch and a sale. All three of these things have combined to give Cyberpunk 2077 a new lease on life nearly two years after its release in December 2020. While once upon a time it broke concurrent playercount records on Steam, that faded quickly as players either ditched the game for not being what they wanted at launch, or beat it and moved on.
But now? Cyberpunk 2077 seems to be having its No Man’s Sky moment, where enough has been fixed and added to the game to convince people to return to it, or hop in for the first time. The incredibly well-received Netflix anime series, Cyberpunk Edgerunners, has inspired some people to return on its own, and Cyberpunk released a patch at the same time that included some small Edgerunners content, but also long-requested quality of life features like transmog, and the game’s first truly new quests since launch. Combine that with a 50% off sale, and here we are.
A month ago, Cyberpunk 2077 had around 15,000 concurrent players during its weekly highs. This weekend? Sunday brought 85,000 players, and the game may not be done yet, as things are rising today on Monday here. That’s about a 550% increase in a month’s time on Steam, and you can see CDPR developers celebrating all over Twitter that their game is being given another look.
In the wake of Edgerunners being a hit, CDPR has reinforced their commitment to the Cyberpunk IP, but whether that means Edgerunners season 2, Cyberpunk 2078 or other multimedia projects, that has not been made clear yet. We know CDPR will release a major expansion for Cyberpunk 2077 in 2023, Phantom Liberty, but is likely to move on to The Witcher 4 after that. But with their new parallel development tracks for major titles, the hope is that they may start on a full Cyberpunk sequel that perhaps gets things right at launch this time, rather than two years later. And of course, I think Edgerunners proved that Night City is ripe for further exploration in other forms of media, as well.
This late into the game, I would probably recommend just a purely fresh start if you’ve already played part or most of the game before this. So, so much has changed since the game first launched that diving into the middle of an old file is probably not going to give you the full experience, as things like quest rewards have been added for stuff you’ve already done. The game still does not have a New Game Plus option, unfortunately, which CDPR has said is extremely difficult from a technical perspective for this game specifically, for some reason.
We will see how long this current surge lasts. You can probably get anywhere from 30 to 100 hours for a full playthrough of Cyberpunk 2077, depending on how fast you go and how many side missions and activities you do. It’s not a live service, so the numbers will drop soon enough here ahead of the release of the expansion next year. And then it will probably get its third wind, and by then, I hope CDPR makes some announcements about longer term plans for the IP.
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Pick up my sci-fi novels the Herokiller series and The Earthborn Trilogy.