Cyberpunk 2077’s Phantom Liberty expansion is coming on September 26, and it’s bringing a new spy thriller story to Night City. But on top of this, it will bring several of quality-of-life changes, new skill trees, and a few backend mechanical improvements to the mix. However, it sounds like you won’t have to throw down $30 to get access to much of these sweeping updates.
In an interview with Kotaku at Summer Game Fest, Cyberpunk 2077 quest director Pawel Sasko and quest designer Despoina Anetaki explained that while some parts of Phantom Liberty, such as a new skill tree, will be behind the expansion’s paywall, much of the new work launching alongside it will be free to all players similar to past updates the game has gotten since 2020.
“Some things come with Phantom Liberty, for example, because of story-related reasons like the Relic skill tree, of course, you need [new character] Somi to unlock it,” Anetaki said. “Some things will be available to the rest of Night City, and you’ll be able to explore some things like, for example, the chases, the vehicle combat, and the police system.”
The one distinction CD Projekt Red made is that anything that happens in Dogtown, the new area in Pacifica, will be exclusive to Phantom Liberty. The example Sasko gives is that while courier activities, a new mission type in the expansion, will be available throughout the original city map, you won’t be able to access specific missions that involve Dogtown. But it does sound like most of the systemic changes will be integrated into the main game without being stuck behind a paywall.
All of that sounds like the right call, as what we played of Phantom Liberty at Summer Game Fest illustrated a lot of sweeping changes for the game that will address some long-held complaints about Cyberpunk 2077.
Kotaku is covering everything Summer Game Fest, from the main show on Thursday to other events happening throughout the next week. Whether you’re into larger-than-life triple-A games or intimate, offbeat indies, you can keep up with all things SGF here.