Life imitates art.
CD Projekt Red
CD Projekt Red, the Polish developer best known for its work on The Witcher series, released a short statement on its twitter feed today claiming that early work from its next title, Cyberpunk 2077, has been compromised.
The statement suggests that the individual or individuals in question are holding the developer ransom for an undisclosed figure, threatening to release the early game files out into the public if their demands are not met.
CD Projekt Red has made it clear that it will not meet the hacker(s) demands, and that "the appropriate legal authorities will be informed about the situation".
Motherboard reached out for a comment from the developer, which said: "This is real. The tweet is all we have to say."
However, it's hard not to remain skeptical still, since E3—the annual industry event where many developers choose to first reveal their games—is just around the corner, and revealing a game called Cyberpunk 2077 via some kind of elaborate, fake hack, would be a fitting stunt.
For what it's worth, we have not seen any game assets floating around pastebin or in the online circles where stuff like this is usually dumped.
Whether it was planning to or not for E3, this means that we are likely to see content for Cyberpunk 2077 arrive in the near future, though CD Projekt Red has made it clear that anything released from the hackers is not "representative of the current vision of the game."
Cyberpunk 2077 is an open-world sci-fi RPG and, announced way back in 2012, but doesn't have a release date at this point. Anticipation is high coming off the back of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt's critical and commercial success, though.
This is not the first time a games developer has run into this type of situation. Back in 2003, Axel Gembe managed to hack Valve's network, and got his hands on the source code for Half-Life 2 more than a year ahead of its release date. Though in that instance, Axel claimed to have been a genuine fan and said that Valve was his "favourite developer"—he even emailed Valve's co-founder Gabe Newell to apologize and hoped he could get a job out of it (spoiler: he didn't).
There was also George "Geohot" Hotz, the man who hacked the PlayStation 3—and was subsequently sued by Sony for it.
No doubt everyone will be keeping an eye on Reddit and NeoGAF over the following days.
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