In the wake of last week's Night City Wire presentation, the CohhCarnage Twitch stream featuring senior quest designer Patrick K. Mills revealed that the main storyline of CD Projekt RED's upcoming Cyberpunk 2077 will be "slightly shorter" than that of their previous title, The Witcher III: Wild Hunt.
Mills stated, "Looking at the metrics, you see tremendous numbers of people played through that game really far, but never made it to the end." He did indicate that there would be a difference between what he called a "completionist" run and a main story run, but did not give any sort of numbers about how long exactly the main story would be or how much shorter it would be compared to The Witcher III.
Presumably, Mills is basing this statement off the main storyline of the base Witcher game, as opposed to the storylines found in the DLC add-ons, which had their own unique plots. There has not been any mention of DLC expansions previously for Cyberpunk 2077, so any statements regarding the length of the main campaign should be taken as being based off the state of the game as it exists right now. We'll find out the length of the main storyline when the game drops on November 19.
Food For Thought
There has been a lot of talk in the industry lately about getting back to shorter storylines, sparked by comments made by former PlayStation exec Shawn Layden opining, "I would welcome a return to the 12 to 15 hour [AAA] game." If Cyberpunk 2077 can make a sharper distinction between the main quest and side quests than The Witcher III, it should be easier to gauge just how long the main story takes to play. However, for a game like Cyberpunk 2077, there may well be a balancing act between story length, story quality, and replayability.