Marcin Przybylowicz, Cyberpunk 2077′s composer, talked to GamerProfessionals, and he confirmed that Cyberpunk 2077‘s music will be more organically connected to the game’s world than say, The Witcher 3’s.
„So, the approach, as I said, totally different because it’s a different universe. A different world. And the goals that music needs to achieve are also… well, they’re not that different compared to The Witcher because it still is this trait of music but, I think I can say it now that the world in Cyberpunk is going to be even more open. It’s set in 2077, so that means we have electricity, we have the technology, so that also means that we have various amounts of devices that can play music. For example personal media players, P.A. systems in clubs, boomboxes, whatever, which we didn’t have in The Witcher. So, that means we are going to have much, much more source music placed in the world connected organically to the world and the narrative in [Cyberpunk 2077] than in The Witcher. In The Witcher we were quite limited by the age – the made-up age. The fantasy version of the Middle Ages,” he said.
Przybylowicz added that Cyberpunk 2077‘s environment will allow more musical cues than ever before, and it caused more of a challenge for CD Projekt RED‘s audio team: „So, in terms of source music you could have a band of bards, for example, in Novigrad playing some catchy tunes, but apart from that, that was basically it. You couldn’t go beyond that because it wouldn’t sit well in the world. It wouldn’t be believable. People wouldn’t buy it as a part of the background for Geralt’s story. With Cyberpunk things are completely different because the world itself allows us to go crazy with placing specific musical cues in the world and treat them as part of the audio layer in the world. So, for example, that’s a huge change for us. That also changes the scope of our work dramatically because that means we have to prepare much, much more of this than we did for The Witcher.”
He also confirmed that the adaptive, dynamically changing music is also making a comeback in Cyberpunk 2077: „You approach the gangster, you take a whiff from the inhaler, have some chit-chat, and it looks like the deal is gonna be finished without drawing your gun. But then things go south, and a shootout starts. It doesn’t differ that much from what we have done with The Witcher because for us adaptive music was always the key point. For example, in this playthrough, if we would have acquired this bot without killing anyone else the music would have to work according to the pacing. So, the system is built in a way that it is prepared for several options at any time. So, for example, if a player decides to go nuts suddenly the music will follow that and, you know, will increase the temperature of the atmosphere as needed. Does that make sense?”
What about licensed music? „Which probably helps a lot because you don’t have to worry about buying the rights to a song like, say, Rockstar would work with all radio music that’s in Grand Theft Auto V. That’s probably really handy. Has this sort of thing, with song licensing instead of creating your own, come up in the development of Cyberpunk 2077? That’s part of the territory I’m not very comfortable, at the moment. So, we would have to pick that up like six months from now [laughs]!”
Cyberpunk 2077 has no release date yet.