'Project Orion' Preview: Everything You Need to Know About the 'Cyberpunk 2077' Sequel



With renewed interest in Cyberpunk 2077 after the release of patch 2.0 and the Phantom Liberty expansion, CD Projekt Red (CDPR) is gearing up for the sequel, officially codenamed “Project Orion.”

According to CDPR, over five million copies of Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty were sold in 2023. Not bad for a three-year-old game with one of the most disastrous launches in gaming history—and cumulative sales topped 25 million late last year.

While little has been shared about the storyline of the next adventure in Night City, here is what we know so far about the sequel to Cyberpunk 2077.

Spoiler alert: This article covers some aspects of the ending of Cyberpunk 2077. Please do not proceed if you’re concerned about spoilers!

When will Project Orion be released?

The Cyberpunk 2077 sequel was annonced in October 2022, with full-fledged work on the game apparently beginning in January 2024.

CD Projekt Red has not signaled a release date or which platforms will support Project Orion, and it may depend on how long the game takes to develop. Whenever it debuts, the answer is that it will likely launch on PC and the current PlayStation and Xbox consoles at the time of release.

In December, CDPR noted that the Cyberpunk 2077 Ultimate Edition with all patches, updates, and the Phantom Liberty DLC is playable on Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 5, and PC systems, with no mention of older consoles like the Xbox One and PS4.

Cyberpunk 2077 initially launched in December 2020 on PlayStation 4, Stadia, Windows, and Xbox One. A next-gen console version for PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S was released in February 2022.

When will Project Orion take place?

CD Projekt Red has not released details on the storyline for Cyberpunk 2, but (again, spoilers) the endings of Cyberpunk 2077 could give a clue if the game continues the adventures of V.

The next game may begin with a raid on the Crystal Palace as seen in “The Sun” ending, or an adventure across the New United States with the Aldecaldos and Panam after “The Star” ending, which until the release of Phantom Liberty was considered by many to be the best ending. Cyberpunk 2077’s sequel may feature an entirely new character, with V appearing as an engram after being stored in Mikoshi, the Arasaka Corperation-controlled area of cyberspace following a “deal” with Hanako Arasaka in the “Where is My Mind” ending of Cyberpunk 2077.

What year the Cyberpunk sequel will take place in is another point of speculation. In the Phantom Liberty DLC and the divisive “V is cured” ending, V wakes up from a two-year coma in 2079 with all of their friends and loved ones having moved on without them.

CDPR has a number of ways to take the Cyberpunk franchise forward, and considering the universe’s story begins in a fictionalized 2013, characters can potentially end up anywhere.

Who will star in Project Orion?

Who will star in the sequel to Cyberpunk 2077 remains purely in the realm of speculation, given the early point in the development cycle.

CDPR made waves in 2019 when it was revealed that Keanu Reeves would star in Cyberpunk 2077 as rockerboy-turned-terrorist Johnny Silverhand. Fast forward to 2022, and CDPR announced that Idris Elba had joined Phantom Liberty as FIA agent Solomon Reed. Musician Grimes also starred in Cyberpunk 2077 as cybernetic popstar Lizzy Wizzy.

It remains to be seen if veteran voice actor Jane Perry, who voiced Night City’s top fixer Rogue Amendiares, will return, considering that Rogue may or may not have survived the second assault on Arasaka Tower.

Who is working on Project Orion?

Project Orion development is being led by CD Projekt’s North American studios in Boston and Vancouver, unlike the original game that was developed in Warsaw, Poland. Some original team members have relocated to North America to work on the sequel, however.

CDPR said that Project Orion is being led by veterans from Cyberpunk 2077 and Phantom Liberty, including Gabriel Amatangelo, Paweł Sasko, Sarah Grümmer, and others.

They’re joined by industry pros whose previous work includes Diablo III, Apex Legends, and Mortal Kombat, respectively, including Dan Hernberg as Executive Director, Ryan Barnard as Design Director, and Alan Villani as Engineering Director.

The Project Orion writing team will include Anna Megil as Lead Writer and best-selling novelist and comic book writer Alexander Freed, whose previous work included Star Wars: The Old Republic, Guild Wars 2, and Dishonored: Death of The Outsider, respectively.

What features will Project Orion have?

While details are still scarce, CDPR hinted that multiplayer would be coming to the next Cyberpunk game. In an interview with Reuters in January 2024, CDPR Joint CEO Adam Badowski said that while the game is still in the conceptual stage, the team is “considering multiplayer elements.”

In an interview with the AnsweRED Podcast, CDPR’s Narrative Director Philipp Weber hinted that Cyberpunk 2077’s lifepath system may play a more significant role in the sequel and more influence the game.

Artificial intelligence, a key element of the Cyberpunk world, will play a part in the game. Under the hood, CDPR has already used generative AI to finish Phantom Liberty, including recreating the voice of ripperdoc Viktor Vektor after voice actor Miłogost Reczek passed away.

Edited by Andrew Hayward





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