Cyberpunk 2077 will be shorter than Witcher 3 to encourage completion

Addressing complaints of the length of Witcher 3, CD Projekt RED revealed that Cyberpunk 2077 will be 'slightly shorter' to allow more people to complete the story.


There’s no two ways about it, even without its DLC, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt was a supermassive game that took easily over 50 hours even if you just did the bare minimum. That’s completely avoiding side quests or DLC. Add those on and you’re likely adding more than double the hours to the experience. Not that it wasn’t a delicious cornucopia of content, but many complained that it could also be unwieldy to say the least. CD Projekt RED wants more people to stay on for the whole journey in Cyberpunk 2077, so the game is supposedly a bit shorter than Witcher 3 to encourage completion.

This little factoid was revealed during a live stream after the recent Night City Wire Episode 3 presentation on September 18, 2020. Talking with Cohh Carnage, Alanah Pearce, and Deejay Knight after the fact, Senior Quest Designer Patrick K. Mills shared that Cyberpunk 2077 would technically be a shorter game, alongside context for the decision. It essentially boiled down to the fact that CDPR wants more players to play to an ending.

“We do know the main story run in Cyberpunk 2077 is slightly shorter than The Witcher 3 because we got a lot of complaints about Witcher 3's main story just being too long," Mills said. "Looking at the metrics, you see tremendous numbers of people played through that game really far but never made it to the end. We want you to see the full story, so we did shorten the main story, but we have lots to do.”

It’s an interesting fact for sure. Looking at how long it takes to beat Witcher 3, the complete journey with all DLC was sitting around 200 hours. Even conservative estimates put the main story with zero distraction at 50 hours (good luck actually beelining Witcher 3). This isn’t the first time we’ve heard that Cyberpunk 2077 will be a shorter experience, but it is the first time we’ve really got word as to exactly why, and it makes sense. Witcher 3 may as well take up your one game of the year if you’re trying to accomplish everything there is to do in it and have a life.

Either way, it’s not like Cyberpunk 2077 won’t be offering plenty of directions and choices to make with its Lifepaths and gangs giving you different opportunities at every turn. A shorter main story isn’t so bad, but we’re sure to get some mileage out of the game if we’re not looking to go straight from start to finish.

Senior News Editor

TJ Denzer is a player and writer with a passion for games that has dominated a lifetime. He found his way to the Shacknews roster in late 2019 and has worked his way to Senior News Editor since. Between news coverage, he also aides notably in livestream projects like the indie game-focused Indie-licious, the Shacknews Stimulus Games, and the Shacknews Dump. You can reach him at and also find him on Twitter @JohnnyChugs.

From The Chatty
  • reply
    September 21, 2020 9:11 AM

    TJ Denzer posted a new article, Cyberpunk 2077 will be shorter than Witcher 3 to encourage completion

    • reply
      September 21, 2020 9:50 PM

      I'm ok with that, witcher 3 was so massive

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      September 21, 2020 10:01 PM

      Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm if we're talking 20->60 hours max - I'm fine. 30 might be a lovely figure? with 80 completionist.

      I've heard of 200 runs in Witcher.

      • reply
        September 21, 2020 10:15 PM

        I'm a 200 run on The Witcher 3 myself, but that would include both expansions, collecting all the Gwent cards, and attempting to clear every ? on the map. I also try to hold myself to a no fast travel rule because it adds an a unique planning element. Trying to clear a few quests on a particular part of the map so I'm not endlessly walking back and forth.

        But yeah, I have no issues with your numbers for Cyberpunk 2077 at all. Smaller doesn't mean anything is missing. There are a variety of ways to play the game, and there will be DLC, so even if it's shorter there should be loads of content for a completionist.

        • reply
          September 21, 2020 10:34 PM

          I'm imaging the first quarter to third of the game will be different for each starting path. It'll merge further along with various different options throughout based on your starting point.

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