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Cyberpunk 2077 should feel like a continuation of the 1990 tabletop game, creator says

Mike Pondsmith
(Image credit: Gamelab Barcelona)

Cyberpunk creator Mike Pondsmith says he's still very involved in the development of CD Projekt Red's Cyberpunk 2077, and a big part of that has been to make sure this new vision of his near-future setting idea maintains a continuity with the original tabletop game.

Speaking with us at Gamescom this week, Pondsmith said it's been a collaborative process between himself and CD Projekt when it comes to generating new ideas for the 2077 setting.

"We have to basically negotiate," he said. "A large part of what we do is to make sure that there is a seamless flow between the times [2020 and 2077]. We really want people to feel like if they went back and pulled out [Cyberpunk] 2020, they would find stuff out about our socket that was germane to stuff for 77."

Pondsmith says there's been a lot of work done to create the kind of connective tissue needed to bridge that gap in time, and some of that has been accomplished through social media. J Gray, who runs PR and community events for Cyberpunk publisher R. Talsorian Games, has been posting a series called 365 Days of Cyberpunk, or #countdowntothedarkfuture, which has helped fill out the lore.

These are factoids about Cyberpunk that range from in-universe character descriptions to the history of the game's development. An example, #49 from February 18, describes the kinds of rental services available in Night City—it turns out these AI-controlled vehicles work a lot like those Lyft and Bird scooters you can find in present-day cities.

"At first, people on a 77 board went, 'whuh?' But then they started going, 'Oh, that's cool,'" Pondsmith said. "They just started riffing on it. Players want to know what's going on in the world, and there's no way we can possibly generate all that in a reasonable amount of time."

The Cyberpunk world is expanding in other ways as well: R. Talsorian has a new "Cyberpunk Red" tabletop game out that's set in 2045, and a Cyberpunk card game is due out next year.

Cyberpunk 2077 is due out April 16, 2020.