Gamelab 2020 is up and running, although because of coronavirus, this year's event is taking place digitally. As a media partner, Gamereactor has been able to catch up with some of this year's notable attendees, and that included Mike Pondsmith, the game designer who created Cyberpunk 2020, the futuristic setting that inspired CD Projekt Red's upcoming sci-fi RPG, Cyberpunk 2077.
During our interview, we discussed the universe he created (including the upcoming Cyberpunk Red), its timeline, as well as the connection between tabletop role-playing and video game RPG concepts. However, while you'll discover that and more in the interview above, we thought we'd highlight a little anecdote that Pondsmith shared with us near the end of our discussion, where he recalled the story of how his wife guessed that Keanu Reeves was going to star in the game.
"I've been interested and amused by some of the castings so far. Keanu Reeves, for example, wasn't what I originally envisioned for Johnny, but I kind of cracked up when we figured it out because he fit. It was just... "I can see that.""
Pondsmith then proceeded to tell us what happened and how he found out that Hollywood royalty would be appearing in his game:
"They didn't want to tell us immediately and they were kinda worried that I was going to be upset, so they were going to announce it to us. So we go into the office that next day, but evening, earlier, [he and his wife] had been sitting around the hotel, eating dinner, talking, and she finally looked up and says: "Ok, so.... plays guitar in real life... it's Keanu Reeves."
I looked at her and said: "What? No, he would never do that. That's, like, beyond our pay grade, he'd never do that. Besides, it's a Cyberpunk thing, how much cyberpunk does he do?"
So, we go into the meeting the next day and we're like all set-up and Lilayah, basically, the person from CDPR who handles all this press stuff is going: "So, do you want to take a guess before we tell you?"
And I'm going: "I'm kinda, you know... I'll see what we get."
And Lisa says from the back: "It's Keanu Reeves, isn't it?"
And Lilayah's face fell, you know, and I said: "Her mind powers are immense," as she just ticked off the reasons [why she thought it was him] and they kinda went [pulls a shocked face].
And I went: "She was right! Ok, I'm not messing with her. She's going to come with me when we go gambling. She's obviously very good!"
Cyberpunk 2077 is heading to PC, PS4, and Xbox One on November 19, and if you stay tuned to Gamereactor we'll have in-depth hands-on impressions and another Cyberpunk-themed interview landing tonight (June 25) at 17.30 BST.
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