The Cyberpunk 2077 single-player game is to be pure, says developer CD Projekt Red. The solo adventure won’t have any microtransactions. One purchase and the experience is yours. Micropayments will come in a later multiplayer release.
This is fantastic news for RPG fans. In an era where microtransactions have run rampant, studios are finally figuring out how to properly monetize single-player IP without compromising their vision.
Their solution? Post-release multiplayer expansions. A worthwhile experience with tasteful microtransactions thrown in.
Remember The Last of Us’ Factions multiplayer mode? That was a great addition to the exceptional single-player release. However, there’s no denying that online play could have been more. All of the unique additions to a deathmatch experience – building a faction and managing resources – were menu based. But, imagine physically building up a base a la State of Decay and defending it from zombies alongside the competitive side of things. Despite that lack of fulfilled potential, the original multiplayer mode was popular enough to cause an uproar at its exclusion come The Last of Us Part 2. Keep in mind part 1 was full of microtransactions, but they were fair ones.
With their sequel, developer Naughty Dog made the smart move. In today’s world of quality free-to-play titles, there’s no room for a tacked-on multiplayer experience. Shipping The Last of Us Part 2 with a lackluster Factions mode would have been its downfall. Now, they get to profit on the single-player game, keep it pure without compromising their vision for profits, and then produce a satisfying online world worth spending money on.
CD Projekt Red is about to do the same thing, and they’re better off for it. Now, fans can enjoy the world of Cyberpunk, an IP that’s bound to be massive, with a single entry fee. Then, when players are finally finishing up this complete, microtransaction-free, multiple-hundred hour RPG, CD Projekt Red can drop a fleshed-out multiplayer experience to jump right back into.
It’s the best of both worlds.
Studios no longer need an untested, potentially unwanted multiplayer add-on to their single-player games. Instead, they can generate hype with a full single-player experience, see what players like and dislike, and expand their universe with a fairly microtransaction-supported online mode. This is something we’re bound to see more of as next-gen moves along, ensuring that studios can appropriately profit without compromising their fanbase.
Let’s make sure these multiplayer modes are worth it, now.