CD Projekt Red warns against streaming Cyberpunk 2077 gameplay before release

Johnny Silverhand
(Image credit: CD Projekt)

Cyberpunk 2077 has already leaked: In November, a PS4 version of the game found its way into the wild, resulting in a bad 20-minute stream of, as Jody put it, "some stoned bros talking over the top instead of playing." But as the release date grows closer, the likelihood of a larger leak, and pre-release streams that might actually be worth watching, continues to grow. Faced with that, CD Projekt Red issued a warning to streamers today: Don't do it.

"We're getting closer and closer to launch and chances are some of you will get your hands on a copy of Cyberpunk 2077 before release day," the studio said in an alarmingly yellow message posted to Twitter. "However difficult this might be for us to achieve, our ambition is for gamers all across the world to have the same—spoiler free—experience at the time the game releases."

"This is why we kindly ask you NOT TO stream/let's play, or release any similar content before December 9th, 12pm CET/3 am PST. We will send MAX-TAC (you know, the guys who take down videos) after everyone who does."

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MAX-TAC, in the Cyberpunk universe, is not a squad of underpaid copyright lawyers but a cyber-SWAT paramilitary branch of the police that's deployed to take down rampaging cyberpsychos. They are "the bottom line in combat police officers," according to the Cyberpunk Wiki, although it also notes that many MAX-TAC officers are borderline cyberpsychos themselves. (It's kind of a "fight fire with fire" approach to law enforcement.)

Obviously you're not going to have this guy kicking in your door and putting three in your head if you stream Cyberpunk 2077 early, but the implication is that CD Projekt Red will be watching, and will not hesitate to drop the hammer. That presumably means takedowns and DMCA strikes, and the likely ruination (at least for awhile) of any relationship with the studio.

The warning ends on an amusingly dark note (or maybe it's just dark, I can't really tell the difference anymore): "After that date, however, we would love if you'd streamed everything like there's no tomorrow," it says. "It's 2020, who knows, maybe there isn't."

OK then. Cyberpunk 2077 is set to come out on December 10. We recently got an early look at its photo mode in action, and we've also got an updated guide to some of its sweet rides.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.