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Polish video game developer and publisher CD Projekt Red says its new Boston-based development studio will make the sequel to Cyberpunk 2077 (codenamed Orion) more authentically American. While the decaying vision of the Cyberpunk future depicted is a relatively far cry from our reality, some players felt their immersion wasn't helped by CDPR's use of some distinctly European manhole covers (and even they were a bit off).

In the most recent episode of the AnsweRED podcast (spotted by Wccftech, thanks VGC), executive producer Dan Hernberg explained why capturing that spirit of Americana is so essential: "I think Cyberpunk is a uniquely American story. It's got a lot of punk energy, and an American wrote it, so it seems right to do it in America."

Associate game director Paweł Sasko cited a specific instance where this cropped up right after the launch of the first game: "There was this post with the guy saying that there is this immersive breaking bug in Cyberpunk, and the bug was about the fact that the covers for manholes for a sewer were the manholes that you normally use in Europe, in Germany, for pavement. When you go to America, there are things like hydrants, where they are placed and how they look. The street lights, the positions, the trash bins, right? They're in the front of the house, right by the street. In Poland and Europe, you don't see it almost anywhere. There's so much nuance. Dan, when we talk about it, he calls it the Americana."

Manhole covers, streetlights, and trash cans might seem like small potatoes, but Hernberg says it's important to nail these minor features to create a believable space. Failing to do so can add an unintended element of wrongness: "It doesn't break immersion, but it's just that little thing where you're like, 'Well, maybe this wasn't made by people who live here or fully understand all of American culture'. I also think being in America allows us to have those cultural touchpoints with the larger American, you know, kind of influence with Hollywood. Cyberpunk 2077 took place in LA, so there's just all these cultural touchpoints and things we can interact with."

Does Cyberpunk strike you as a uniquely American story? It takes place there, obviously, but are these geographic and cultural particulars truly so important? Let us know in the comments section below.

[source, via,]