Cyberpunk 2077 Multiplayer Won’t Be Out for Years, Had Better be Netrunner

"After 2021" is too long to wait for more of the greatest collectible card game ever made, though.

Back in 2018, Android: Netrunner, the greatest collectible card game ever made, was unceremoniously discontinued. Licenser and Magic: The Gathering purveyor Wizards of the Coast decided not to continue its years-long deal with Fantasy Flight: the studio that produced the so-called “Living Card Game.” I was incredibly blue about this at the time because, as we’ve established, it was the greatest collectible card game ever made. I have held onto but one flickering ember of hope in my cold, cold soul ever since. I’ve been hoping that the previously announced multiplayer add-on for Cyberpunk 2077 will be some version of Netrunner.

That’s because the original release of Netrunner — a competitive, asymmetrical game of hackers versus corporations — was originally set in the world of Cyberpunk 2020 (now 2077). It moved to Fantasy Flight’s own Android universe when that company rebooted the game in 2012. But the core concepts remained the same. It was filled with flavor. One card for the hackers, or Runners, was literally just an energy drink (which translated into drawing extra cards that turn). Corporation cards might include starting new subsidiaries, advertising campaigns, or blowing up your goddamn apartment.

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CD Projekt Red, developer of the recently delayed Cyberpunk 2077, has a history in card games as well. Gwent, a mini-game the studio created for The Witcher 3, spun off into its own set of games and ocean of memes. It makes sense that the devs might try to make lightning strike twice — this time with an established framework to pull from. I’d certainly play it.

None of this seems even the slightest bit likely, though. There’s already a physical Cyberpunk 2077 card game scheduled for later this year. And so far nobody at Wizards of the Coast or CDPR has said boo about bringing back the greatest collectible card game ever made.

cyberpunk 2077 multiplayer

God I Really Just Miss Netrunner, You Guys

Although a fan effort, called Project NISEI, has been working to keep the game alive since early last year. Not to mention NISEI specifically calls for “a harassment-free experience for everyone, regardless of belief, body size, disability (learning, mental, physical or any other kind), gender identity and expression, health conditions (mental or physical), physical appearance, race, religion or sexual orientation.”

That’s a far cry from the questionable (i.e. awfully transphobic) behavior we’ve seen out of CD Projekt Red since it announced its newest game. Part of me would like to see Netrunner return to the world stage in what’s sure to be one of the biggest games of the year. Another part of me worries CD Projekt Red would just muck up that all-important flavor.

Regardless, we probably won’t know for quite some time. Besides the single-player game’s five-month delay, we now know the Cyberpunk 2077 multiplayer mode won’t be out until “after 2021.” We heard as much from the developer itself during a recent investor call. That’s quite a ways away! Though it’s only one part of a greater plan for free, post-release DLC. We’ll likely learn more about it (and if it’s some version of the best collectible card game ever made) before then.

Here’s hoping that it is Netrunner after all, and that CD Projekt Red can be trusted to handle it.