Cyberpunk 2077 and the cyberpunk genre as a whole is “inherently political,” and developer CD Projekt Red won’t shy away from that, according to quest designer Patrick Mills.
Mills revealed to Official Xbox Magazine (via PC Gamer) that Cyberpunk 2077‘s story will include themes about economic inequality.
“Cyberpunk 2077 is a game about people with power at the top and people at the bottom with none,” Mills told the magazine. “That power can come from money, hierarchies, technology and violence. The original [tabletop RPG] Cyberpunk 2020 setting, like the setting of The Witcher stories, was a complex critique of the author’s world, and we don’t shy away from that in our games. On the contrary, I think it’s one of the things that sets [CD Projekt Red] apart. Cyberpunk is an inherently political genre and it’s an inherently political franchise.”
For reference, the backstory for Cyberpunk 2020 is that the United States faces an economic collapse, effectively making it a third-world country. This leads to the government outsourcing most of its responsibilities to the world’s mega-corporations, effectively making them the leaders and lawmakers of the country. Sound familiar?
Politics in games has become something of an issue over the last year or so, reaching its absurd peak when Bethesda’s Pete Hines had to defend the fact that Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus is an emphatically anti-Nazi game. This issue seemed especially pertinent when the game launched in October 2017, following a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, in August 2017 that ended with James Alex Fields, Jr., a man connected to white supremacist groups, allegedly ramming his car into a group of protesters and killing one person.
More recently, Ubisoft made headlines by claiming that Far Cry 5 and The Division 2, which both feature heavily armed militias fighting against government agents in the United States, are not political in nature.
Economic inequality and the rising corporatocracy aren’t the only issues that Cyberpunk 2077 will tackle. Topics like body augmentation and human sexuality will also play a major role in the game’s story and world.
Cyberpunk 2077 is currently in development for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC.