Mike Pondsmith says there’s something beyond the cool cyberpunk.
Cyberpunk 2077 is actually a continuation and adaptation of Cyberpunk 2020, the groundbreaking tabletop game that utilized the cyberpunk genre. The game is primed to be bigger than the tabletop game probably ever was, and probably the biggest cyberpunk based thing we’ve had for quite some time. The original creator of Cyberpunk 2020 also wants you to know there’s some hidden themes there.
Cyberpunk as a genre has always been one that’s filled with political and social themes. As Mike Pondsmith explains in his interview with GamesIndustry, the goal is always to hook you with the cool, grimy world and then make you think about what it all means at certain points.
“Sooner or later, there’s that moment where you stop and look at your hands as V [the game’s protagonist], and you go ‘my hands have been cut off at the elbows, and they’re now machines.’ I think a lot of times when you want your message out there about something that’s bigger than a game, you have to let them find it themselves. We just lay it out like a trap and they step on it.”
Of course, cyberpunk has also almost always been misunderstand with people focusing on the cool stuff without any of that, and most video game companies are terrified to make any kind of solid political stand one way or another nowadays. I doubt Cyberpunk 2077‘s reception will be all that different, frankly, since the majority of people would rather just turn off their mind and go for the ride.