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Sunday, February 25, 2024

Saucy Cyberpunk 2077 visual novel released with CDPR’s blessing

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Cyberbang 2069 is at least up-front about what you can expect. This is basically a dating sim featuring many of Cyberpunk 2077’s cast, including of course Keanu (thanks, GR+), and is a mix of fan-fiction with original music and art exploring various romantic options within the world. You can download an explicit or an SFW version here.

The most surprising element of this is that, before diving into serious development, the three individuals behind Cyberbang 2069 sought out CDPR’s permission to go ahead. 

“We read their terms of service and for fan art it’s really gracious,” one of the developers, Bean, told The Gamer. “You can make money off your fan art, you just can’t lock it behind a paywall. We already knew it was going to be free, but they do say ‘do not make a video game based off Cyberpunk’, which made us question a little bit about what a visual novel falls under, because some people would say it’s not a video game. It’s fanfic combined with art in more of an immersive style, really.”

The developers, who go by the label Triple Thirst, contacted CDPR in April last year to check if Cyberbang 2069 would be allowed under these terms. “We were expecting maybe some kind of clarification like, ‘Oh, is this about Johnny?’,” Bean says. “Because there’s been some issues with his character [in the past] because of Keanu Reeves, but they just sent back, ‘Go for it’.”

Cyberbang 2069 is using CDPR’s characters but adds a load more romance options. In Cyberpunk 2077, you can only romance four characters total. The roster here includes, inevitably, Johnny Silverhand, but also features characters that have relatively minor roles in the game like Sandayu Oda, with the developers aiming to add more characters in future. 

Fans have of course been messing around with Cyberpunk 2077 in all sorts of ways since release, but expanding romance options is a big theme for mods and fan projects alike. It reached some sort of singularity when Keanu Reeves himself was asked how he felt about people modding the game to jump his bones: “It’s always nice when it’s nice.”

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