2013Icon.png2020Icon.pngV3Icon.pngRedIcon.png2077Icon.png

Timelines are in flux. Future unclear. Try again later.
- Mike Pondsmith, [citation needed]

The timeline of the Cyberpunk Series has gone through many iterations, with new sourcebooks and games continually expanding on its world. This article covers the canonical timeline following events from Cyberpunk 2013 and Cyberpunk 2020, as established by Mike Pondsmith and CD Projekt RED in Cyberpunk Red and Cyberpunk 2077. Information about the non-canon Cyberpunk 3.0 and its alternate timeline can be found here. Other timelines are included within the Japan, China, Soviet Union, Korea, and Australia pages, as well as the timeline for South-East Asia and Europe Timeline.

Series history

Released in 1988, the first Cyberpunk game, Cyberpunk 2013 introduced players to the world of the dark future. Three supplementary books were released, fleshing out the world and character roles.

In 1990, a second edition was released, titled Cyberpunk 2020, the timeline was moved forward 7 years to the year 2020. As a result much of the information from 2013 was greatly expanded upon, the setting of Night City became real and many of the corporations were given full backstories.

In 1993, the timeline was again pushed forward by another 7 years with CyberGeneration. CyberGeneration focused on supernatural abilities in a more dangerous world. The CyberGeneration series then turned into a spin-off in an alternate reality.

In 1997, the Firestorm books were published. These two—originally three—adventure books were meant to introduce the concept of the Fourth Corporate War to the player and move the story forward into the late 2020s-30s. The campaign pitched the player up against Arasaka, but with the help of many of the named characters throughout the series such as Morgan Blackhand and Johnny Silverhand. A third Firestorm book was planned but eventually became part of the Cyberpunk V3.0 rule book.

In 2005, Cyberpunk v3.0 was published. The timeline was pushed into the 2030s and was a direct followup to the events of the Firestorm series. In 3.0, the world had to deal with the fallout of the Fourth Corporate War and the Arasaka nuke in Night City, and the data corruption on the Net. Reviews were negative based on the setting change as well as some of the presentation elements in the book.

In 2013, Polish video game developer CDProjektRed announced they had acquired the licence to develop video games based on the Cyberpunk series with creator Mike Pondsmith working closely with the Polish studio. Cyberpunk 2077 would move the timeline much further into the year 2077. The game had a full reveal in 2018, with players assuming the role of V, a lowly cyberpunk in Night City.

Mike Pondsmith later announced Cyberpunk Red, a new edition of the pen & paper RPG set sometime before 2077. As a result of the Red Edition and 2077, the timeline was significantly changed. Creator Mike Pondsmith has said the official timeline is up in the air in regards to the later editions. As such, elements of the Firestorm books and the Cyberpunk v3.0 books have been retired, though which elements are currently unknown.

With the release of the Cyberpunk RED Jumpstart kit, it is revealed that the Fourth Corporate War, the crash of the net, and the Arasaka mini-nuke events all canonically occur. The World Book places the Fourth Corporate War as starting in 2021 but becoming official in 2022. The crash of the net is caused by the DataKrash virus, triggered by a dead man switch activated with the death of Rache Bartmoss, which happens in 2022. The Arasaka mini-nuke event is referred to as the "Night City Holocaust" and is shown to take place in 2023.

Regional timelines

Timeline overview

The timeline of the Cyberpunk series diverges dramatically from our own around roughly the 1990s—although other divergences do occur well before then, albeit smaller in size and scope—where the fall of the Soviet Union at the end of the Cold War leads to a dissemination of nuclear weapons on the black market. Coupled with a US government "deep state" called the Gang of Four, the world soon finds itself in the midst of an economic crisis and the Collapse. Proxy wars, trade wars, and a resurgent Europe butt against the prevailing US world order. Eventually, brief nuclear exchanges and biological warfare around the globe cause the gradual decline of Western civilization. Societies collapse and many governments either dissolve or are reduced to reactionary, petty authoritarian states.

In the chaos, corporations fill the vacuum of power amidst a collapsing social order. Technological advances, unbridled from government oversight or ethical limitations lead to hundreds of new inventions. As time wears on, some corporations become as powerful as the countries they are housed in. Ultimately, four corporate wars occurred by 2023, each one becoming more overt and deadly than the last. The infamous Fourth Corporate War was brought to an end by the detonation of a nuclear bomb in the heart of Night City. The years that followed until 2045, the Time of the Red, were a period of global reconstruction as corporations and governments alike tried to recover from unparalleled economic and environmental damage. By 2077, corporate influence is more pervasive than ever, and fears of another devasting corporate war loom large on the horizon.

Lawlessness, chaos and technology. This is the world of Cyberpunk.

1800s

1900s

1900

1910s

1920s

1930s

1940s

1950s

1960s

1970s

1980s

1990s

2000s

2010s

2020s

  • 2021
  • 2023
    • International trade breaks down.[14]
    • Gargoyles Nomad tribe plans New York City Maglev extension preliminary work to begin.
    • NASA begins offering commercial flights to Mars.[11]
    • Contact is lost with the Pathfinder mission to Jupiter after Cape Canaveral and NASA's mission control center are destroyed during the Fourth Corporate War.[13]
    • August 20: The Night City Holocaust. Nuclear device detonated in Arasaka Tower, much of central Night City destroyed. Over a half million people are killed. Another quarter million die in the resulting aftermath.[14][15]
    • Militech nationalized by President Elizabeth Kress.[14]
    • Arasaka forces expelled from continental US.
    • Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Northern California, and British Colombia unify into the Pacifica Confederation.
    • Time of the Red begins. Atmospheric particles from widespread devastation stains sky red for two years.[14]
    • Kei Arasaka is talked into committing seppuku by Spider Murphy.
    • The Fourth Corporate War ends.[14]
    • The Net is shut down by Rache Bartmoss.[14]
    • The Japanese government nearly collapses, but saves itself by forcing Arasaka to take the full blame for the destruction of the Fourth Corporate War. Arasaka is forced to confine its operations to Japan for the next several years as it rebuilds its reputation.[14]

2026 - 2030

  • The Diaspora begins. Groups displaced from ruined cities set out to reclaim locations abandoned since the Collapse.[14]
  • Widespread looting of old tech and abandoned storehouses.[14]
  • Limited VPNs with corporate parks.[14]
  • United States is a functional dictatorship under Pres. Elizabeth Kress's State of Emergency.[14]
  • 2026
    • The opposing sides in the Fourth Corporate War sign a belated formal truce. Militech then tries and fails to reestablish contact with NASA's lost Pathfinder mission.[13]

2030 - 2035

  • Resettlement of Suburban Night City.[14]
  • Reestablishing of Nomad High Roads.[14]
  • Start of CitiNets, local VPNs established in some Reclaimed Cities.[14]
  • Rumors of Johnny Silverhand's body being found in cold storage in the wreckage of Old Night City arise.[14]
  • Start of Night City Reconstruction[14]

2035 - 2049

  • First Wave Cities start Reclamation.[14]
  • Rebuilding of old factories and old tech begins to be replaced, new corps begin to rise.[14]
  • Sightings of Morgan Blackhand in various First Wave cities arise.[14]
  • Netwatch attempts to clear out the R.A.B.I.D.S. fail, all major nodes into the old NET shutdown.[14]
  • Establishment of first Data Pools.[14]
  • First Megabuildings constructed to handle population growth.[14]
  • Events of Cyberpunk Red take place.[14]
  • Jackie Welles was born.
  • 2049
    • June 10/October 12: V is born.

2050s

  • 2050
    • Shiming Xu's defense company, now debt-free under his leadership, is rebranded Kang Tao. It officially debuted on the weapons market with the A-22B Chao smart-pistol, making a bold play for a niche dominated by Arasaka.
  • 2051
    • A major outbreak of "bird flu" occurs in Night City, killing 7,000 people.
  • 2059
    • A second major bird flu outbreak occurs in Night City, killing 10,000 people.

2060s

  • 2060
    • Lucius Rhyne elected to the Night City Council as a member of the Devolutionist Party.[12]
    • Thorton Colby C125 ends production.
    • Lagaretta predicts that the pace of technological development of the time would lead to the confirmation of the existence of white holes and the discovery of a theory for quantum gravity within fifteen years.[17]
  • 2061
    • A third major bird flu outbreak occurs in Night City, killing 12,000 people.
  • 2062
    • Haiti is officially abandoned after a series of vicious storms. A large portion of its population resettles in Night City's Pacifica District.[12]
    • Quadra Turbo-R 740 ends production.
    • The private security company SSI is founded.
    • July 17: NC Dam Ltd. begins construction of a dam and reservoir outside Night City. Residents of the town of Laguna Bend, set be flooded by the reservoir, attempt to disrupt construction, but are forcibly evacuated.
  • 2063
    • May 4: Night City adopts the Avian Extermination Act to quell outbreaks of avian-borne diseases, which claimed tens of thousands of lives in the city across multiple epidemics over the past decade.
  • 2067
    • An Arasaka bodyguard intercepts an assassin's bullet, saving the life of the Emperor of Japan.
    • The Moxes are formed after the death of Elizabeth Borden.
    • The first permanent human settlement is constructed in Antarctica.
    • The last wild shark dies.
  • 2069
    • January: Rosalind Myers, previously the CEO of Militech, is elected President of the New United States of America.
    • January: The Unification War starts. At the direction of President Myers, the New United States of America instigates a campaign to re-annex the Free States.[12]
    • Higurashi 20-13 Mantis Blades line is discontinued because of a flaw: they interfaced poorly with neural processors and a certain section of the prefrontal cortex.[18]

2070s

  • 2070
    • June 6: On this day during the Unification War, the NUSA carpet bombs Sacramento. Night City, under siege from NUSA forces, receives "humanitarian aid" from the Soviet Union that independent observers claim consists of truckloads of weapons. The Republic of Texas also officially closes its borders to refugees from Night City.
    • June: The Unification War ends after Arasaka arrives to break the siege of Night City at the request of Councilman Lucius Rhyne. Unwilling to draw Arasaka into the war, President Rosalind Myers reluctantly signs the Treaty of Unification with the Free States to end hostilities. Night City becomes an independent city-state and Lucius Rhyne is elected mayor. For its help, Rhyne welcomes Arasaka back to the city, giving it a seat on the Night City Council and allowing it to rebuild its American headquarters in the new Corpo Plaza.[12][19]
    • Kang Tao rapidly expanded the "smart guns" market, leaving behind its past competition Nokota and Tekhtronika. Now Kang Tao is competing with the major players like Arasaka and Tsunami Defense Systems.
  • 2071
    • Arasaka security forces prevent mass riots in San Francisco.
    • Night City criminalizes the sale of domesticated fowl such as chickens on the grounds that they have become carriers of a plague.
  • 2073
    • DT&R tripled their airship fuel consumption to satisfy Australia's growing need for plastic.[12]
  • 2074
    • October 24: In Italy, an earthquake kills an estimated 98 people. In Night City, President Rosalind Myers' offer to provide Militech forces for the city's security is sharply criticized by the NCPD Commissioner.
    • An Arasaka investigation destroys a terrorist cell in Rio de Janeiro, killing all those responsible for a series of attacks.
  • 2076
    • Night City loses over 29% of its population, about 3 million people, due to an unspecified event. This is the third largest population loss of any city in America this year.
    • NASA's crewed Pathfinder mission to Jupiter remains missing after fifty years of searching for its signal.[13]
    • October/November: Cyberpunk 2077 Prologue takes place.[21]
  • 2077
    • Arasaka announces the development of the Relic, a unique biochip which users can imprint their personalities on for their descendants to communicate with after they die.
    • April-Before August 23: Cyberpunk 2077 Acts 1 to 3 take place half a year after the Prologue.[21][22]
      • V and Jackie are hired by fixer Dexter DeShawn to carry out a heist to steal a special prototype Relic from Yorinobu Arasaka's suite in Konpeki Plaza.
      • During the heist, Saburo Arasaka is murdered by his son, Yorinobu. V and Jackie escape Konpeki Plaza with the Relic, but Jackie dies shortly after. V is killed by Dexter to cover his tracks, but is revived by the Relic and rescued by Goro Takemura.
      • Yorinobu becomes Arasaka's next CEO, and blames his father's death on Militech, exacerbating tensions between the two corporations. Yorinobu also begins subtly dismantling Arasaka, framing his changes as necessary reforms and financial streamlining.
      • Mayor Lucius Rhyne of Night City dies. Deputy Mayor Weldon Holt becomes Acting Mayor until a new election is held. Holt, City Councilman Jefferson Peralez, and a slate of less significant individuals announce their candidacy for the election. Peralez eventually wins the election and becomes Night City's next mayor.
      • "Omega", the last living wild koala, dies outside Sydney, Australia.
      • NUSA President Rosalind Myers announces she will seek another term in office.
      • Militech announces plans to construct a new colony on Mars, and begins selling residential modules.
      • V, with the help of Panam Palmer, overloads the Solar Power Station south of Santo Domingo to create an EMP to down a Kang Tao AV carrying Relic designer Anders Hellman. The incident results in a significant power outage for Night City that causes over €$120 million in damage.
      • Hanako Arasaka is kidnapped by V and Goro Takemura during the Aratama Matsuri festival in Night City. She is later rescued by a strike force led by Adam Smasher.
      • V confronts their imminent death due to the Relic and chooses their fate. V's decision has potential ramifications for the future of Arasaka and the world.
    • Antonio Luccessi, founder of Militech, dies.
  • 2078
    • April 20-30: Night Corp expects to finalize construction of a maglev network connecting Night City to other NUSA cities.
    • May 3-5: Lizzy Wizzy is scheduled to play concerts at the Crystal Palace as part of her Cosmic Tour.
    • Winter: The first connections of Night Corp's intercontinental maglev network are planned to become operational.
    • Moore Technologies plans to release the Artifex, an advanced 3D printer that scans the user's brain to create objects that the user imagines.

2080s

  • 2080
    • Night Corp's 3-hour maglev connection to Chicago is expected to become operational.
    • Leading AI analytics predicts, with 74% confidence, that a second hot war between the New United States and the Free States will occur by this year.

References

  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 MOSS, W. Corporation Report 2020. 1st ed. Berkeley CA: R.Talsorian Games, 1991
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 2.14 2.15 2.16 2.17 2.18 2.19 2.20 MOSS, W. Corporation Report 2020 Volume 2. 1st ed. Berkeley CA: R.Talsorian Games, 1992
  3. 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11 3.12 3.13 3.14 3.15 3.16 3.17 3.18 3.19 3.20 3.21 3.22 3.23 3.24 3.25 3.26 3.27 3.28 3.29 3.30 3.31 MOSS, W. Corporation Report 2020 Volume 3. 1st ed. Berkeley CA: R.Talsorian Games, 1992
  4. 4.00 4.01 4.02 4.03 4.04 4.05 4.06 4.07 4.08 4.09 4.10 4.11 4.12 4.13 4.14 4.15 4.16 4.17 4.18 4.19 4.20 4.21 4.22 4.23 4.24 4.25 4.26 4.27 4.28 4.29 4.30 4.31 4.32 4.33 4.34 4.35 4.36 4.37 4.38 4.39 4.40 4.41 4.42 4.43 4.44 4.45 4.46 4.47 4.48 PASQUARETTE, C. Pacific Rim Sourcebook. 1st ed. Berkeley CA: R.Talsorian Games, 1994
  5. Never Fade Away, Ripperdoc's computer
  6. 6.00 6.01 6.02 6.03 6.04 6.05 6.06 6.07 6.08 6.09 6.10 6.11 6.12 6.13 6.14 6.15 6.16 6.17 6.18 6.19 6.20 6.21 WINN, R. Neo Tribes. 1st ed. Berkeley CA: R. Talsorian Games, 1994
  7. 7.00 7.01 7.02 7.03 7.04 7.05 7.06 7.07 7.08 7.09 7.10 7.11 7.12 MACDONALD, M. Home of the Brave. 1st ed. Berkeley CA: R. Talsorian Games. 1992
  8. 8.00 8.01 8.02 8.03 8.04 8.05 8.06 8.07 8.08 8.09 8.10 8.11 8.12 8.13 8.14 8.15 8.16 8.17 8.18 8.19 8.20 8.21 8.22 8.23 8.24 8.25 8.26 8.27 8.28 8.29 8.30 8.31 8.32 8.33 8.34 8.35 8.36 8.37 8.38 8.39 8.40 8.41 8.42 8.43 8.44 8.45 8.46 8.47 8.48 8.49 8.50 8.51 8.52 8.53 8.54 8.55 8.56 8.57 8.58 8.59 8.60 8.61 8.62 8.63 8.64 8.65 8.66 8.67 8.68 8.69 8.70 8.71 8.72 PONDSMITH, M. Cyberpunk 2020 v2.01. 3rd ed. Berkely CA; R.Talsorian Games, 1993
  9. 9.00 9.01 9.02 9.03 9.04 9.05 9.06 9.07 9.08 9.09 9.10 FISK, C. Night City Sourcebook. 1st ed. Berkeley CA: R. Talsorian Games, 1991
  10. 10.00 10.01 10.02 10.03 10.04 10.05 10.06 10.07 10.08 10.09 10.10 10.11 10.12 10.13 10.14 10.15 10.16 10.17 10.18 10.19 10.20 10.21 10.22 10.23 10.24 10.25 10.26 10.27 RAMOS, J. Eurosource Plus. 1st ed. Berkeley CA: R. Talsorian Games, 1995
  11. 11.00 11.01 11.02 11.03 11.04 11.05 11.06 11.07 11.08 11.09 11.10 11.11 11.12 11.13 11.14 11.15 11.16 11.17 11.18 11.19 11.20 11.21 11.22 11.23 11.24 11.25 PONDSMITH, M. Deep Space. 1st ed. Berkeley CA; R. Talsioran Games, 1993
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 12.4 12.5 BATYLDA, M. The World of Cyberpunk 2077. 1st ed. Milwaukie, OR; Dark Horse Comics, 2020.
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 Pathfinder: Half a Century of Silence
  14. 14.00 14.01 14.02 14.03 14.04 14.05 14.06 14.07 14.08 14.09 14.10 14.11 14.12 14.13 14.14 14.15 14.16 14.17 14.18 14.19 14.20 14.21 14.22 Cyberpunk Red Jumpstart Kit World Book. R. Talsorian Games, 2019
  15. The Day the Tower Fell
  16. 16.0 16.1 Peralezes' profiles retrieved during the Dream On in Cyberpunk 2077
  17. The Valar Mission, Back To Square One
  18. Dialogue with Melissa Rory during the Bullets side job in Cyberpunk 2077
  19. Cyberpunk 2077 World Compendium
  20. Dossier: Sasquatch
  21. 21.0 21.1 Diary (117-121/77): Saburo Arasaka's diary which states the 5 days of travel on the Kujira to Night City. Day 117 of 2077 is April 27th. Also, two shards suggest the events are happening between spring and summer.
  22. Based on a N54 News broadcast in Cyberpunk 2077 in which Gillean Jordan states that the 54th anniversary of the "AHQ Disaster" is approaching. The AHQ Disaster occurred on August 23, 2023, so the 54th anniversary would fall on August 23, 2077. The N54 News broadcast can be viewed throughout Acts 1, 2, and 3 of the game, indicating that the events of those acts occur before August 23, 2077.

PONDSMITH, M. Cyberpunk. 1st ed. Berkely CA; R. Talsorian Games, 1988.
BOREILLI, A. Edgerunners Inc. 1st ed. Berkeley CA: R. Talsorian Games, 1995.
GALEOTTI, M. Eurosource. 1st ed. Berkeley CA: R. Talsorian Games, 1991.
MOSS, W. Land of the Free. 1st ed. Berkeley CA: R. Talsorian Games. 1994.
FISK, C. Rockerboy. 1st ed. Berkeley CA: R. Talsorian Games. 1989.
FISK, C. Solo of Fortune. 1st ed. Berkeley CA: R. Talsorian Games, 1989.
Cyberpunk Red Jumpstart Kit World Book. R. Talsorian Games, 2019.
BATYLDA, M. The World of Cyberpunk 2077. 1st ed. Milwaukie, OR; Dark Horse Comics, 2020.

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.