The Cyberpunk 2077 Moon DLC We Will Never See

Cyberpunk 2077 15 photos
Photo: CD Projekt RED
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It turns out that Polish game developer and publisher CD Projekt RED had a Moon-based DLC planned for Cyberpunk 2077, but for better or worse, it will never see the light of day. The team has completely left their controversial action sci-fi shooter and has moved on to other projects like the next Witcher title (Project Polaris), a Witcher 1 remake, a Witcher multiplayer game (Project Sirius), a follow-up to Cyberpunk (Project Orion), and Project Hadar, an original new IP.
Not unlike Rockstar Games' leak from September 2022, CD Projekt Red suffered a major security breach back in 2021 that leaked the Witcher 3 and Cyberpunk 2077 source codes. A video game source code is basically a skeleton key that unlocks all the doors to its "DNA." Anyone with a game's source code can change whatever they wish, as long as they have the proper knowledge and skill.

The problem was that back then, these Matrix-sounding codes were password-protected, so no one could access them. At least until recently, in April 2024, when a ransomware group called HelloKitty cracked everything wide open.

User "Anonymous" on 4chan disclosed screenshots from the CP 2077 Moon-based DLC, which would have been like The Witcher 3's Blood and Wine. Supposedly, it would have come with an entirely new map, buildings, characters, vehicles (moon rover), and more missions or quests.

CD Projekt RED leaks
Photo: Anonymous on 4chan
The new map looks to measure 3.7 square miles or 6 square kilometers and includes a main base, an old landing pad, a drug lab, a crash site, a movie studio, a corporate war battlefield, an LAV site, an HR settlement, and other zones. In comparison, the full original map is roughly 15 square miles or 24 square km. The plot would have involved a corporate war, in which you were sent in to deal with various objectives.

While the Moon DLC has been abandoned, the idea and theme may have simply been transferred to the second Cyberpunk game, which is currently in early development. No matter how good or bad the writing or plot, at least we would have seen an incredibly impressive artistic representation of the Moon from these extremely talented devs.

Say what you will about the game, but the graphics have been top-notch from the get-go. And roaming on the Moon's surface with a rover could have been a unique gaming experience. The only other game you can do this in, except for the rover part, is Starfield. Regrettably, Starfield's planets and moons are vast and empty, which makes for an incredibly boring exploration experience.

Cyberpunk 2077 launched in December 2020 to mixed reviews and much customer outrage. The publishers took the game out of the oven too soon, and it became the most broken AAA title at launch in gaming history. While it's not broken anymore, with fixes and gameplay improvements that redeemed it for fans, it still holds the unfortunate title. Because of Cyberpunk's initial meteoric backlash, it might take a while until we see another buggy and broken-down AAA mess of this kind. In a perfect world, that would never happen again but never say never.

CD Projekt RED leaks
Photo: Anonymous on 4chan
At the end of the day, money talks, and CP 2077 brought in more than $733.2 million in total, according to a March 2024 earnings report by CD Projekt RED.

Piotr Nielubowicz, CFO of CD PROJEKT, said, "Update 2.0 and the Phantom Liberty expansion for Cyberpunk 2077 were released in September and met with enthusiastic reception on the part of gamers and gaming media alike. This resulted in strong sales of both titles. In just over three years our cumulative revenues from sales of games which comprise the Cyberpunk franchise exceeded 3 billion PLN, further attesting to the strength of this IP."

Indeed, Update 2.0 redesigned the core gameplay experience and made fans out of naysayers and nonbelievers. Update 2.1 made everything even better with replayable car races, better bike combat and tricks, new rides, more car chases, a newly opened highway, boss fight improvements, better visual effects and lighting, and more. With each successful update, the developer studio showed they were actually passionate about their game.

Nothing proves this more than the phenomenal Phantom Liberty expansion, which had great writing, unlike the base game. They also made it feel like a true action-packed espionage experience and featured Idris Elba, who did a great job with his character. Without going into any spoilers, the first huge boss fight from Phantom Liberty was so good I couldn't believe I was playing Cyberpunk 2077 and not a Sony 1st-party shooter from the good old days of Resistance and Killzone.

CD Projekt RED leaks
Photo: Anonymous on 4chan
Regarding current development, at the end of February 2024, CD Projekt RED disclosed that only 17 out of 627 developers were still working on Cyberpunk 2077. On April 30, 2024, the company provided an update and said that out of 630 devs, none were still involved. Interestingly, Orion, the Unreal Engine 5 sequel, had 47 people working on it on February 29, but at the end of April, that number grew to 56.

It's pretty safe to assume that while 407 devs are involved with Polaris, the next Witcher game, it will be at least 5-6 years before we start seeing actual gameplay trailers for Cyberpunk 2177, or whatever it ends up being called.

As an informed wild guess, given that the current gestation period of a AAA game can last as long as an entire console generation cycle (6-7 years), we could be playing the next Cyberpunk installment even beyond 2030.

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About the author: Codrin Spiridon
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Codrin just loves American classics, from the 1940s and ‘50s, all the way to the muscle cars of the '60s and '70s. In his perfect world, we'll still see Hudsons and Road Runners roaming the streets for years to come (even in EV form, if that's what it takes to keep the aesthetic alive).
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