Speaking in the November 2018 edition of Edge magazine, CD Project Red discussed Cyberpunk 2077 at great length, adding that The Witcher 3 has served as a financial platform and a confidence booster to undertake such a massive project.
Cyberpunk 2077's lead cinematic animator Maciej Pietras pointed out that in the meantime, almost every department at CDPR has undergone a revolution of sorts. From animation systems and mocap studios to environment building and the engine itself, each department has either been upgraded, expanded or both.
Just in case that by some divine miracle Cyberpunk 2077's 48 minute gameplay reveal didn't turn you into believer, then get a load of this - CDPR's narrative and quest teams are actually two separate teams. Naturally, they work closely but the narrative team is solely tasked with handling of the game's overarching story structure, rather than actual implementation thereof.
CDPR's quest team, on the other hand, "comes up with the incidentals of how V progresses thorough it and the choices he or she must make", he said. According to Pietras, everything else that doesn't make it to the main story, no matter how miniscule it may seem, is fleshed out in sidequests, which down the line results in the sort of immersion that kept us all glued to the screen for 48 minutes straight.
And, as Cyberpunk 2077's quest designer Patrick Mills pointed out, it all stems from The Witcher 3's infamous character Bloody Baron, whose story and player reactions to it have had a profound an impact on CDPR. "We want to make sure that all of [the side quests] are up to standards of the main quest", Mills said and stressed that CDPR isn't interested in fillers or sub-par solutions.
CD Project Red
Mills also reflected on how CDPR even came about making a game on Mike Pondsmith's Cyberpunk 2020 and it turns out that the pen and paper game was one of few games adapted for the Polish market. Admirably enough, even though financial implications would've made it easier for CDPR to create a world of their own, CDPR went and hired the man on the spot.
On a related note, perhaps it's time for Avalanche Studios to ask CDPR for some lessons in ethics, because they sure seem to be needing them.