Polygon’s interview with the team behind Cyberpunk 2077 was the very last one that CD Projekt Red had scheduled for this E3. Co-founder and joint CEO Marcin Iwiński and game director Adam Badowski looked pretty well spent. They were also just a bit stressed out, since Hideo Kojima was on the other side of the wall seeing their 50-minute hands-off demo for the very first time. But eventually, I had to ask the question that was on everyone’s minds.
“So,” I said, “when should players of Cyberpunk 2077 expect to bump into Ciri?”
Warning: What follows will contain spoilers for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt.
“Oh, Jesus,” said Badowski, putting his head in his hands.
“Your favorite question!” chided Iwiński with a broad, silent smile on his face.
“I hate this question,” Badowski moaned.
If you played through The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, you know that for a time Ciri was teleported to another dimension for hiding. When she returned, she described the place she visited to Geralt. You can watch the segment on YouTube at the two-minute and 41-second mark. I’ve also embedded it below.
“The world where Eredin couldn’t find you,” Geralt asks, “what was it like?”
“You wouldn’t believe me if I told you,” says Ciri, before launching into a description of a land where “people had metal in their heads, waged war from a distance using things similar to megascopes.” Even more strange, she said, there were no horses. People traveled in flying ships instead.
Clearly that description is a nod to the world of Cyberpunk 2077, an Easter egg that survived the writing and editing process for The Witcher 3 long enough to have voiceover work recorded for it. After that, dropping it into the game as part of a dialogue tree would have been no trouble at all.
But, as it turns out, Badowski would rather that goof hadn’t gone so far.
“We are not Kingdom Hearts,” he told me. “We are not joining universes, and I know that there are a lot of fans on the team and they would like to have Ciri in the game. But I am totally against it, still.”
“Maybe you will change your mind,” said Iwiński, putting his hand on Badowski’s shoulder, before turning to me. “There is a little hope there.”
For what it’s worth, fans seem very excited at the prospect. A version of Cyberpunk 2077’s various trailers has been recut and posted online, with voiceover courtesy of Ciri from The Witcher 3.
As of publication time, that fan video is closing in on half a million views. If that doesn’t get Badowski to reconsider, I’m not sure what else will.