First impressions are important, and Cyberpunk 2077 players didn’t get a good one – when CD Projekt Red’s latest open-world game launched at the end of 2020, players were put off by a laundry list of bugs, which prompted a firestorm of negative publicity in both the press and player communities. The developer has put in lots of work on Cyberpunk 2077 since then, but it’s been the release of Cyberpunk Edgerunners on Netflix that’s finally prompted players to return to the game.
After Edgerunners’ debut September 13, CD Projekt Red says, a million players visited Night City every day of the following week. Judging from Cyberpunk 2077’s Steam player data, that number is still trending upward – the peak player counts for the past three days have been more than 80,000, and that’s not counting everyone playing the GOG version or on consoles.
Of course, that’s nowhere close to the million concurrent players Cyberpunk 2077 saw on Steam alone in the first few days after it launched, but it’s well above where it’s been sitting since then – concurrent players counts have been sitting in the 15,000 range for most of the summer, after a brief surge in late February following the 1.5 patch.
Edgerunners coincided with another major update for Cyberpunk 2077, patch 1.6, which added some bonus content drawn from the anime series, as well as the much-requested wardrobe transmog system. We’ve also learned a little about the first DLC expansion, Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty, which will see V embroiled in a “spy-thriller” set in an all-new district in Night City when it launches in early 2023.
Cyberpunk 2077’s poor initial impact set the narrative for the game for the following year, and I’ve gone on the record as believing it could have been a lot different. Perhaps Edgerunners will be the catalyst for a major shift in how this fascinating game is thought of and discussed going forward.