Cyberpunk creator says it’s harder to reach fans directly in videogames – “The stakes are ridiculous”

During a keynote talk at this year's PAX x EGX Online, Mike Pondsmith, the creator of the Cyberpunk table-top RPG that inspired Cyberpunk 2077, spoke on the contrast between developing for pen-and-paper and videogames. As he sees it, the latter's a bit more Hollywood than the former, raising the risk factor significantly. "Videogames are a little more like Hollywood, the stakes are ridiculous," Pondsmith explained. "There's a lot more of a problem with reaching and talking with the fans directly. There's a wall there, between you and the people who use your game." He discusses how individual credits are often harder to find on videogames, leading to people being surprised when they find out who worked on what: "I think there's a distance there." Videogames tend to be much more expensive, too, and Pondsmith recalls his shock when he made the jump to digital game development. "I can go and build a pretty good game, and maybe spend $10,000 at the most to get it printed," he says. "When I did my first really large videogame project, I went in and said 'what are we budgeted for?' and they said '$20,000,000', and I went 'I'm now responsible for figuring out what to do with $20,000,000? Oh, crud', so the stakes are higher."

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