CD Projekt Red Shouldn’t Waste Cyberpunk Night City

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Open-world video games have taken us all over the globe and the multiverse. From the relatively small cities in Skyrim to Los Santos’ vastness, and Assassin’s Creed’s rendition of Paris. One of the biggest titles in this area, however, can learn a lot from the smallest. CD Projekt Red should be looking at Like a Dragon – formerly called Yakuza on Western territories – and its hyper-detailed Kamurocho universe as it looks to the future for the Cyberpunk franchise.

Sega has been developing the series with its RGG Studios since the release of the first entry in early 2000s. They brought Tokyo’s Kabukicho red light district to life with stunning detail. If you know the Kamurocho maps well enough, you can navigate your own way around Kabukicho. There are at least 15 games that are set in Kamurocho, including the Like a Dragon series, its spinoff games, and two Judgment titles.

CD Projekt Red announced Cyberpunk in 2012 and then revealed the game – or something that looked like it – in 2018. The game was finally released in the year 2020. It received its massive 2.0 update in 2023. You can see how much time was spent on the game when you look at it. Night City and the surrounding areas are some of most detailed and expansive areas in a videogame. Cyberpunk is a first-person game that makes its nearest siblings, like Fallout or Elder Scrolls, look sparse. When we consider third-person games, we only see cities that are as detailed and large as Assassin’s Creed’s Paris and GTA V’s Los Santos.

Night City

Night City is a game that took a lot of time to develop. I feel that even after two playthroughs, one at launch and another after Phantom Liberty was released, totaling over 200 hours of Cyberpunk2077, I haven’t touched the surface of Night City. Only after I completed all of the NCPD Scanner Hustles did I feel like I had truly finished the game. trulyExplore Night City. You can use these mini distractions to get into the deepest, darkest corners in the city. This will allow you to see what lies beneath and behind the city’s tallest skyscrapers. You know what else? There’s There is a lot to look at.

Here’s where they meet: RGG Studios reused Kamurocho. They tweaked the look and feel, but kept most of its structure. As a fan of the series for many years, I feel as though I’ve seen this little district in Tokyo change and evolve like it was a real location. We return every few years and find that a few things are different. Some shops look different. Maybe a skyscraper blew up. A building which once housed an active yakuza has closed its doors. It has allowed me to build a real relationship with the city and I hope CD Projekt Red will do the same for Night City.



It’s also a good use of resources. Why would you use a place that your team has spent a lot of time building just once?

There are whole city blocks you pass through to get to an important place. Early on, you might be able to visit a few of them on foot, but then it’s all about driving and fast travel. In Night City, most of the work is done. The city is already there. Why should we visit it only once?

Night City is a major center of the world, just as Los Angeles will be in 2024. We It is not necessary to be able to understandEven if we don’t spend all our time there, it will be fun to go back in the sequel. What does the city appear like after Jefferson Peralez has been elected mayor? How will Arasaka, the major tenant of Night City, change it after its new CEO takes their seat–who may change depending on what path you choose? What would Night City look like if we travelled back in time to 2024?

There are many stories that CD Projekt Red, or other developers, could explore with Night City. Why would you want to start over and build a completely new place when there is so much potential for development in the current one?

Thank you for the memories

Night City
Night City

This bus stop is where I blew up my car with Kerry Eurodyne! Misty has read my tarot cards here!

Kamurocho is a very important place for Like a Dragon Fans. We’ve had countless memories as Kiryu or Majima. We remember when Majima came out of the manhole cover at Tenkaichi Street. We remember Kiryu being talked into appearing in a Smile Burger commercial just around the corner. Or when he ordered almost everything on the Kanrai’s menu.

Some may call it “lazy” to reuse an existing map, but fans of the Like a Dragon games know that revisiting a place like this transforms the city from a backdrop into a living and evolving place. You don’t need to add recurring characters if they are already there. You can also have emotional moments with your players by placing important story events around the city. Who wouldn’t find an excuse for a revisit to the rooftop above Misty’s Esoterica, to see what kind memorial there might be for Jackie Welles. Who wouldn’t visit Afterlife to order a drink named V?

Like a Dragon’s games allow us to do just that. We’ve been to Okinawa and Osaka as well as Nagano, Yokohama and other places throughout the series. In Cyberpunk, 2077, one of the endings gives us a glimpse at a very different East Coast. We get references to places like Tokyo, and countries like Brazil. These would be interesting to explore! But Night City should be the center of Cyberpunk: a place that we return to again and again.

More. Now. Please.


This also has a greedy component. We had to wait for Cyberpunk to be released. Between the announcement in 2012 and the update of 2023, we received Yakuza 5, 6, 0 Kiwami, Kiwami 2 Like a Dragon The Man Who Erased his Name and Ishin among others.

The video game market has shown that mega-sized games with long development cycles are not sustainable. Cyberpunk 2077 was one of the victims. Developers inside It was obvious that the game wasn’t preparedCD Projekt Red released Cyberpunk 2077 too soon, due to the high development costs and pressure from investors. CD Projekt Red does have a successful IP with Cyberpunk 2077. Night City is a great sandbox.

Instead of waiting another eight years for the next game, they should focus on telling new stories about new characters within a familiar and evolving space.

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