Cyberpunk 2077's upcoming expansion won't be free, confirms CD Projekt

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CD Projekt has confirmed that Phantom Liberty, the upcoming Cyberpunk 2077 expansion featuring Keanu Reeves (opens in new tab) and Sasha Grey (opens in new tab) that will open up an all-new district of Night City, will not be free.

That Cyberpunk 2077 players will have to fork over some cash for Phantom Liberty might seem obvious—I certainly thought so—but to be fair, CD Projekt muddied the waters a good bit with The Witcher 3, a morass of DLC, expansions, and content, some of it free and much of it not. I mean, just look at this:

(Image credit: Steam)

The studio promised similar things (opens in new tab) for Cyberpunk 2077, saying in August 2020 that it would get free DLC as well. It didn't get into specifics about how the post-launch content would break down, but it didn't really matter because the plan quickly went off the rails (opens in new tab) as CD Projekt was forced to focus on fixing the game rather than expanding it. The first free DLC showed up in August 2021 and it did not impress (opens in new tab), even though, you know, it was free.

CD Projekt has previously differentiated between free DLC and paid expansions for Cyberpunk 2077, albeit in the relatively low-profile forum of a 2021 investors call (opens in new tab).

"There is a distinction—for us at least—between DLCs and expansions," CD Projekt's Michał Nowakowski said at the time. "I'd like to remind about that: A DLC is a smaller piece of content which we have been giving away for free in the past with The Witcher 3, and that’s still the plan for Cyberpunk.

"When it comes to expansions, such as Blood and Wine and Hearts of Stone, that is a bigger thing. These are paid, and once we announce something like that for Cyberpunk, it will definitely be paid."

It's hard to imagine that a whole new story featuring two notable names and a previously-unseen part of the city could be considered "a smaller piece of content," but just in case there was any doubt, CD Projekt's global PR director Radek Grabowski confirmed with GamesRadar (opens in new tab) that Phantom Liberty "will be a paid one." Pricing hasn't been announced, but Grabowski added that CD Projekt's expansions "are traditionally cheaper than full-price games," so it'll probably be somewhere under $60. 

Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty promises "a spy-thriller expansion" with "a new style of plot" that centers around the New United States of America, the nation that arose in the wake of the Collapse. A release date hasn't been set, but it's expected to be out sometime in 2023. CD Projekt is also currently working on a full Cyberpunk 2077 sequel (opens in new tab).

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.