Despite a famously disastrous launch that etched Cyberpunk 2077 into gaming history in all the wrong ways, CD Projekt Red is committed to turning the game into one they can eventually be proud of, and one that they hope players will continue buying and playing for years to come. Supporting the game with new DLC is a key part of this plan, and new data mining info is shedding light on what we can expect.
We've known the game will be getting some serious content support after release long before the game was launched, and CDPR have plotted the eventual release of these content updates on their revised timeline. The mystery is what these updates will entail. While this isn't the first time that Cyberpunk 2077 DLC details have leaked, the continued accuracy of the previous set of info dug up from game files is suspect considering the change in direction that the developers adopted following the controversy.
This latest data mining effort has uncovered a bunch of inaccessible content with references to "ep1" in the 1.2 update. While this huge patch was supposed to be a major step towards bringing the game into presentable shape, many issues still remain. While it wasn't the god-send many fans hoped for, at least it gives us some insight into future content, right?
The game files for 1.2 aren't the first instances of "ep1" either, however compared to the mere 5 instances of this prior to the release of the patch shot up to 220, according to hobbyist dataminer 'romulus_is_here'. It's safe to assume that internally, the developers are referring to the two promised major story expansions as episodes, and this is how the relevant files are marked as well.
While the files related to ep1 in 1.2 are still for the most part incomplete with a lot of placeholders, there are some actual mission descriptions among them too which seem final, alongside information related to NPCs both new and old. Some of the most "complete" DLC quest information refers to Mr. Hands returning as a fixer, a new character called Anthony Anderson and a repurposed church in Pacifica called Newcomer's Haven all related to the same new storyline.
Another quest introduces a new faction, most likely a new gang, called the Kurtz Militia. They are referred to in the text of what will be in-game emails for V to find, relating to a mission called Wagner, likely referring to another new character. Aside of written descriptions, assets relating to mission objectives have also been recovered - it seems at various points in Episode 1, V will have to defuse a bomb at the bottom of a swimming pool and locate a secret Netrunner hideout.
Something worth mentioning is that according to romulus_is_here, these all seem like smaller disconnected "street stories", and other datamined Episode 1 content links back to some pre-existing storylines in the main game as it is now, either tying up loose ends or referring to specific events. Between these two characteristics, it's worth considering whether these files have nothing to do with the first major paid expansion at all, but are rather part of the free DLC program.
While initially it was believed that the free DLC program, once it finally kicks off, will include really minor pieces of content like the odd gun, new clothing items, maybe the implementation of a barber shop feature and similarly small bits and pieces, leaks from the Epic Games Store imply that we're looking at "mini expansions" instead. Various new quests that don't form one cohesive storyline seem to fit this model better than the paid story expansions.
Considering the state V is left in by all the endings of the main game (which we've ranked, by the way), the actual story expansions will have a lot of explaining and set-up to do, and won't lend themselves well to a smorgasbord of smaller side-quests. Oh, the devs will also likely have to decanonize some of those endings. Either way, we suspect these files are related to free content as opposed to the promised expansions.
We'll have to wait and see when the free DLC program for Cyberpunk 2077 kicks off later this year.