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The Cyberpunk 2077 ARG is an ongoing alternate reality game (ARG) potentially revolving around the contents of Cyberpunk 2077. The game had been devised by CD Projekt RED as a way to build hype about the game.

E3 2018 Edit

The ARG officially began during E3 2018, which took place June 12 through June 14, 2018. During the Microsoft press conference, a hacker took control of the presentation, as seen in the video below, ultimately revealing the E3 video game trailer.

In addition to GOG codes that could be redeemed for The Witcher 3, the brief bit of scrolling red text also revealed a hidden message from the developers[1], going into detail about the game and offering an explanation for its long development time:

E3 trailer hidden message - Cyberpunk 2077

It's been over 2077 days since we announced our plan to develop Cyberpunk 2077. We released a CGI trailer, gave some interviews and... went dark. Normal procedure for these kinds of things - you announce a game and then shut up, roll up your sleeves, and go to work. We wanted to give you The Witcher 3 and both expansions first, which is why this period of staying silent was longer than we planned. Sorry for that.

As soon as we concluded work on Blood and Wine we were able to go full speed ahead with CP2077's pre-production. But we chose to remain silent. Why? At some point, we made a decision to resume talking about the game only when we have something to show. Something meaningful and substantial. This is because we do realise you've been (im)patiently waiting for a very long time, and we wouldn't want anyone to feel that we're taking this for granted. On the contrary - it gives us a lot of extra motivation. The hype is real, so the sweat and tears need to be real, too :).

But to the point. Today is the day. If you're seeing this, it means you saw the trailer - our vision of Cyberpunk, an alternative version of the future where America is in pieces, megacorporations control all aspects of civilised life, and gangs rule the rest. And, while this world is full of adrenaline, don't let the car chases and guns mislead you. Cyberpunk 2077 is a true single player, story-driven RPG. You'll be able to create your own character and..., well, you'll get to know the rest from what we show at our booth at E3. Be on the lookout for previews!

Before we finish, you probably have some questions, right?

  • When? When we told you we would only release the game when it's ready, we meant it. We're definitely much, much closer to a release date than we were back then :), but it's still not the time to confirm anything, so patience is still required. Quality is the only thing that drives us - it's the beauty of being an independent studio and your own publisher.
  • How big? Seriously big, but..., to be honest, we have no bloody clue at this point in time. Once we put it all together, we will openly tell you what you can expect. And we promise we'll do this before we start talking about any pre-orders or ask anything of you.
  • Free DLC/Expansions/DRM? Expect nothing less than you got with The Witcher 3. As for DRM, CP2077 will be 100% DRM-free on PC.
  • Microtransactions? In a single player role-playing game? Are you nuts?

Once again, thank you for your patience. If you have a minute, do visit cyberpunk.net and share your opinion (about anything) with us. We read everything you post and we treat it very seriously.

Yours, CD PROJEKT RED Team

An IP address was also discovered: 212.91.11.20 - this led to a "quadra" section of the official game site, whereupon visitors were met with a welcome message asking for a login and password. The username itself was provided, and the password was discovered to be a license plate from the E3 trailer, NC20 CP77.

WELCOME TO QUADRA - THE HIGH-PERFORMANCE AUTOMOTIVE SOLUTIONS
WITH A SOUL. PLEASE ENTER YOUR QUADRA VIP USER CREDENTIALS.

Once successfully accessed, players were able to enter their email addresses, eventually receiving the email below. This portion of the ARG existed for only a short period of time before visitors to the "quadra" site were met with a "USER QUOTA MET" message.

Post-E3 2018 Edit

Searching through the official site led to several more discoveries, most interesting of which was a supposed secure subdomain, as well as ASCII art that contained the aforementioned IP address.

Gamescom 2018 Edit

Concept art - Bitly link - Cyberpunk 2077

The ARG continued during Gamescom 2018, which ran from August 21 through August 25 2018. During this time, the official CD Project Red twitter account posted concept art that contained a bitly link (upper right of image). The bitly link led to an image which, when opened in a text editor, led to a second image. This image led to the Trauma Team International website.

Trauma Team International email - Cyberpunk 2077

Though currently inactive, a user named "David" met players on the TTI site, requesting an ID, the source of which was located in the bitly-linked image (upper right). Once successfully entered, David then gave players a faux choice to choose a link, but only one option was ultimately available; players could select the insurance mentioned in the second image.

A player-unique 10-digit ID could then be used in the "My Orders" section. Similarly to the first part of the ARG, players could enter their emails, and similarly, once a certain "quota" of players was met, this portion of the ARG went offline. The email can be seen to the right, but the text reads:

Thank you for your time.
Please note that due to increased user activity the process may take up to seven days.

Given that the tweet with the original image was sent on August 22, 2018, it may indicate that further develops may happen on or around August 29, 2018 (seven days later).

Trauma Team site Edit

Though this portion of the ARG seems to have concluded, this is what is offered on the site when clicking through:

Main page

Trauma Team International is the world’s largest provider of medical services, ranging from healthcare products, to health insurance, to medical-grade implants and replacement surgery.

State of the art equipment, advanced medical facilities, and years of research & development all make TTI more than an industry leader - we are the gold standard for reliable medical solutions for the most demanding of customers.

Products

Whether it’s something as straightforward as a first aid kit, or a technologically-advanced recovery booster to help you get back on your feet, Trauma Team International offers an array of best-in-class medical products and solutions.

To purchase a product or service, please use automated TTI assistant. To begin placing your order, please click the icon below.

Services

With Trauma Team International on your side, losing sleep over your health is a thing of the past. Our comprehensive selection of insurance packages, as well as swift emergency and customer services, all guarantee that we’ll be there for you each and every time, come hell of high water.

To purchase a product or service, please use automated TTI assistant. To begin placing your order, please click the icon below.

My Orders

Connection failed.

Trauma Team email Edit

Players who managed to input their email addresses into the site prior to the quota having been met were rewarded with this email:

Thank you very much for placing an order with Trauma Team International!
Reply to this email with your address, as well as any other additional information if needed, in order for us to send you the package. As soon as your order dispatches we will send you an email letting you know it is on the way to you.
Thank you for choosing Trauma Team International - your life is worth it!
Sincerely,
Trauma Team International representative

The email contained a PDF "invoice" and an image attachment. When combined with an earlier image, the overlapping elements appear to spell out "MONDAY". On Monday, August 27, 2018, a code began scrolling within CD Projekt Red's Twitch channel.

Twitch code Edit

CD Projekt Red - Twitch stream - Cyberpunk 2077 ARG

The Twitch code stream (a portion can be viewed to the right) began the morning of August 27, 2018. Once examined, users determined that the code was written in base64. Judging by the header, it was surmised that the code should produce a .png image. Only well after the below was revealed did the image become apparent: the opening pic in the video of the elevator.

The code stream abruptly ended at approximately 9:30am PST, and a new line - "Stating upload..." - displayed, with an increasing percentage.

At 10am PST the percentage reached 100% and the press-only gameplay trailer that was shown at E3 finally debuted to the public, seen below.

Cyberpunk 2077 Gameplay Reveal — 48-minute walkthrough

Cyberpunk 2077 Gameplay Reveal — 48-minute walkthrough

Quick-eyed viewers were able to deduce another hidden message within the final frame of the trailer, similar to the message stored in the trailer at E3[2]. This message was an apology from the developers for having kept fans in the dark for so long:

Gameplay reveal final frame - Cyberpunk 2077

Sorry to have kept you waiting for this for so long!

Did you like what you saw? Because for us, the fact that we're finally showing you Cyberpunk 2077 is HUGE. Please go to our forums, twitter, facebook, discord, and do tell what you think. Is the game world how you imagined? Do you see what we meant by "immersion" when we talked about CP2077 being an FPP RPG? How does our vision of "cyberpunk by day" make you feel? We really want to know.

Aside from that, we think we owe you a few words of explanation on why we're showing you this gameplay now, some time after industry professionals and media saw it at E3 and gamescom.

Each time we discussed the idea of showing the game to you (and we discussed this idea a lot), we were ending up in this "we're not 100% sure" limbo. Why? Because (for most people), when a game dev shows gameplay footage from their game, it means that this is how the game is going to look or play like. It's not the case here. Cyberpunk 2077 is deep in development. We have a lot of design ideas, a lot of mechanics being playtested, but we don't know what we'll end up with at launch. This makes publishing videos like what you just saw risky -- we don't want gamers saying 'but in that previous video that gun was shooting differently', or 'why did you change the interface?'. Change is inherent to game development and there's a ton of things being modified each day. Our fear was (and kind of still is) that you'll think what you just saw is how Cyberpunk 2077 will look like 1:1.

What gave us that extra confidence to show you a work in progress game? Good initial feedback from people who are accustomed to see games at various stages of development. What they told us (and they told us they really liked what they saw) gave us the boost we needed to show the current version of Cyberpunk 2077 to the most passionate and insightful audience -- you.

So... here's what Cyberpunk 2077 looks like today (or rather looked like when we recorded the video). We sincerely hope you liked it.

Again, thank you for your patience and all the thoughts you shared with us.

Yours,

CD PROJEKT RED

References Edit

  1. https://www.resetera.com/threads/cyberpunk-2077-e3-2018.48109/page-17#post-8989746#
  2. https://www.reddit.com/r/cyberpunkgame/comments/9ar4o9/cyberpunk_2077_gameplay_reveal_48minute/e4xgitm/