Dates, Facts and Background

Cyberpunk 2077 Timeline: History of Night City & the World of Cyberpunk

Guide

How did Night City become a metropolis? What role did the mafia play? What’s the deal with the nuclear bomb explosion? What is Arasaka? You will find the answers to these and many more questions in our Cyberpunk 2077 Timeline.

Our Cyberpunk 2077 timeline will help you to understand the setting and the conflicts that exist within it. We take a look at the past of Night City and the rest of the world: wars, corporate interests and government intrigues have created the torn, life-threatening world filled with many challenges in the game’s timeline.

This timeline will be updated and revised when we find new information within the game.

Before the Fourth Corporate War (1990-2022)

Early 20th Century

The Founding of Arasaka

Originally founded at the beginning of the 20th century as a manufacturing company in Tokyo, Arasaka is profiting from the economic situation of the pre-war period. Thanks to the entrepreneurial skills of the founder Sasai Arasaka, the company establishes itself on the market and is then restructured in 1960 by Sarai's son Saburo. With new company focal points such as security and banking, Arasaka rises to the top of the most successful global corporations.
Early 20th Century
1990-2016

First Three Corporate Wars

The position of the corporations is strengthened throughout these conflicts. Relationships between politicians and companies are no longer seen as a conflict of interest, but are considered beneficial to politics and big business alike. Thus, the corporations gradually gain unlimited access to the earth's raw materials, while the global economy becomes unstable due to the conflicts.
1990-2016
1993

Development of CHOOH2

Biotechnica develops CHOOH2 - an alternative fuel based on genetically bred wheat (Triticum vulgaris megasuavis). CHOOH2 burns cleaner than petrol or diesel, but is toxic in itself and causes severe damage upon contact. CHOOH2 will be refined in the coming years and decades and used as an efficient fuel for AVs (aerovehicles) as well as civil and military vehicles.
1993
1994

Founding of the City

The American entrepreneur Richard Night founds Coronado City on the site of the abandoned, gang-infested Californian small town Morro Bay. The city is designed to be safe, clean and corporate-friendly. Tax benefits soon attract large international corporations to the project, and the city starts to grow in no time.
1994
1996

Founding of Militech

Italian weapons designer Antonio Lucessi founds Armatech-Lucessi International - a company that sells infantry weapons to the US Army. During a restructuring and renaming to Militech, the company managed to secure the main supplier contract for the US Army in 2004. Over the next few years, the company specializes in general security solutions and arms trading throughout the world.
1996
1998

Assassination of Richard Night

Unidentified individuals murder the entrepreneur and city founder Richard Night. In honor of Richard Night, Coronado City is renamed Night City. It is suspected that the murder was ordered by crime bosses with connections to labor unions and construction companies that were excluded from the project. However, this has never been proven.
1998
1998-2008

Reign of the Mafia in Night City

The power vacuum that was created through Richard Night's death is filled by organzied crime in the following decades. The city descends into prostitution, drug trafficking, cyberterrorism and other criminal activities. The number of crimes and casualties rise steadily during this period.
1998-2008
1999

Founding of Night Corp

Richard Night's widow Miriam Night creates Night Corp out of the original Night Foundation, which was founded to help build the city. From now on, the corporation is dedicated to providing public services and undertaking construction projects in Night City. Night Corp keeps itself mostly out of corporate conflicts.
1999
2000-2020

The Collapse

The growing influence of corporations on politics leaves the earth's resources open for exploitation. This leads to a gradual intensification of man-made climate change, including accompanying phenomena such as acid rain, sandstorms and natural disasters. A thermonuclear war breaks out in the Middle East turns, which turns that part of the world into a radioactive desert - which in turn causes a worldwide oil crisis.

The U.S. government tries to secure its interests by secretly manipulating the stock markets in Europe and Asia. When this becomes public, the already troubled global financial markets collapse. Subsequently, the corporations continue to expand their influence on the world. The "Gang of Four" (consisting of the government agencies CIA, NSA, FBI and DEA) founds the New USA (NUSA) after a coup and takes over the government of the USA. However, numerous US states do not participate in this, split off and become "Free States".
2000-2020
2009 and onwards

Corporations take over Night City

The assassination of mafia bosses by unknown mercenaries clears the way for a change of power in the city ("Mob Wars"). A newly elected city council grants corporate troops greater powers to maintain public safety. Most of the city center, including surrounding boroughs, is cleaned up in the following weeks and months. With the takeover of the corporations as the governing power in Night City, a period of upswing begins, in which the run-down parts of the city are demolished and modernized. Municipal institutions such as police, fire department and public services are re-established.
2009 and onwards
End of 2021

First Phase of the Fourth Corporate War

The two ocean technology groups CINO (Corporation Internationale Nauticale et Océanique) and OTEC (Ocean Technology and Energy Corp) are in a dispute over the remains of a third corporation, the IHAG (Internationale Handelsmarine Aktiengesellschaft). OTEC hired Militech as support in the gradually escalating situation to protect its own safety interests. In response, CINO approached Militech's fiercest competitor, Arasaka. In the first phase, the conflict is mainly carried out in the form of assassinations of managers, information theft and smear campaigns. The excessive use of netrunners for attacks against data storages and stock holdings on both sides throws the global economy into chaos. NetWatch finally imposes a communications embargo on Arasaka and Militech to protect the Net.
End of 2021

Crisis and Recovery (2022-2050)

Early 2022

Second phase of the Fourth Corporate War ("Shadow War")

The Eurobank negotiates a ceasefire between CINO and OTEC, but the conflict has already spread to Militech and Arasaka, who now face each other as fierce opponents. Covert attacks by both sides on the opponent's military and research facilities follow, and the conflict continues on in the Net. In the wake of attacks by corporate and independent Netrunners, a series of new, deadly computer viruses destroy the structures of the Net. Many parts of the Net remain unusable - even after the creatos have been killed by their viruses.
Early 2022
June 2022

Third Phase of the Fourth Corporate War ("Hot Phase")

The conflict between the two corporations develops into an openly conducted, devastating war. Cities like Rio de Janeiro are reduced to rubble and ashes in the course of the fighting, and survivors become refugees. The world market collapses and piracy becomes rampant on international trade routes. Many of the world's governments publicly blame Militech and Arasaka for the chaotic situation and withdraw their support from the companies with the aim to nationalize the remaining corporate resources in their countries. The Free State of Southern California is storming the Los Angeles offices of both companies, and several European nations follow suit.
June 2022
2023

Detonation of a Nuclear Bomb at the Arasaka HQ in Night City

The last remaining Arasaka headquarters (Arasaka Towers at the Corporate Plaza in Night City) on American soil is blown up with a nuclear bomb. Even today, the masterminds behind the attack remain unknown. Arasaka was found guilty by an investigative commission, but Militech is suspected to be behind the explosion. Furthermore, modern legends belonging to the "Atlantis Group" such as Johnny Silverhand, Rogue and Morgan Blackhand are said to have been involved.
2023
2023

Militech is Nationalized

After the explosion of a nuclear bomb in the Arasaka headquarters, NUSA President Elizabeth Kress nationalizes the Militech corporation. This decision strengthens the collapsing US military in the long term.
2023
End of 2023

End of the Fourth Corporate War

Arasaka capitulates after the Japanese government puts pressure on them. The rival Militech emerges victorious but severely battered from the conflict.
End of 2023
2023-2025

CHOOH2 Fuel Crisis

During the Fourth Corporate War (2021-2023), most of the cultivation facilities for the genetically bred wheat variety Triticum vulgaris megasuavis are attacked and destroyed by a biotechnical virus. The resulting breakdown in CHOOH2 fuel production leads to the biggest fuel crisis of the century.
2023-2025
2024-2035

Night City in the Post-War Period

Since the NUSA, led by President Elizabeth Kress, is not coming to the aid (despite its assurances), citizens and corporations take care of the reconstruction of the destroyed city by themselves. Despite difficult conditions, Night City insists on its previous autonomy. Homeless people and refugees settle in the boroughs of Charter Hill and North Oak. Refugee camps and barracks determine the image of this area for the next decades.
2024-2035
2024-2035

Establishment of the Blackwall, Isolation of the Old Net

NetWatch spent several years trying to rebuild the Net, which was devastated by viruses and malicious, hostile programs. NetWatch finally abandons these efforts and establishes the so-called "Blackwall", which separates still usable parts of the Net from the area ("Old Net") controlled by so-called "Intelligent Systems" (IS). Meanwhile, both humans and artificial constructs are forbidden to break through this barrier - but this does not prevent Netrunners from trying anyway.
2024-2035
Around 2027

Establishment of the 6th Street-Gang

The 6th Street Gang, consisting of veterans of the Fourth Corporate War, was originally formed as a civilian police force to counter gang violence in Night City. However, bit by bit the militia group developed into the criminal gang structures it originally intended to fight.
Around 2027
2041

Invention of Induction Wheels

The so-called "Induction Wheel" is developed in Europe. This new wheel increases the charging speed of electric motors by a considerable margin. Thanks to this effective method, the electric car becomes the preferred means of transport in most European and international cities.
2041
End of the 2040s

The Borough Little China emerges in Night City

As a result of the increased influx of Chinese immigrants, the previously exclusive part of the borough of Watson transforms into an area with a more distinct ethnic character, also known as "Little China".
End of the 2040s

Upswing (2050-2069)

2050

Founding of Kang Tao, first "Smart" Pistol

After a phase of vigorous restructuring, the weakened defense contractor - that was acquired by the Chinese Colonel Xu four years ago - presents itself on the world market under the name "Kang Tao". Specializing in weapons production, the company is launching its first model of a smart pistol on the market - the A-22B Chao.
2050
Early 2050s

Eviction of the North Oak borough

Supported by the megacorporations, the Night City Council clears the shantytowns in the North Oak borough. Although the action was disguised as a "war on crime," the city council's action has long been regarded as a symbol of the brutality and unscrupulousness of the corporations. Construction companies build villas and magnificent estates in the vacated area, which is still considered the most exclusive part of Night City to this day.
Early 2050s
Early 2060s

Start of the Pacifica Project

The Pacifica project was launched during the economic boom of the 2060s, and follows the aim to transform the impoverished southern suburbs of Night City into a diverse vacation paradise. For this purpose, nomads, locals and exiled Haitians are hired as cheap labor, and are temporarily settled near the construction sites.
Early 2060s
2062

Haiti's Downfall

As a result of man-made climate change, Haiti is devastated by several severe storms in 2062 and is abandoned afterwards. The refugees establish organized communities elsewhere. In Night City, the Voodoo Boys establish themselves as a gang of Netrunners, who still uphold Haitian traditions.
2062
2067

Assassination of Strip Club owner Lizzie Borden

A prostitute working at Lizzie Borden's strip club/brothel is brutally raped and murdered by several Tyger Claws gangsters. Lizzie Borden arms herself and awaits the perpetrators the day after the assault. She kills three of them with an axe and chops them up as a warning. The Tyger Claws devastate Lizzie's club the following night and brutally murder the owner. After this murder, several days of riots against the gang violence ensue, in which members and businesses of the Tyger Claws become the main targets.
2067
2067

"Excalibur" is launches on the vehicle market

Rayfield (Great Britain) is introducing its first AV (aerovehicle) model to the market - the "Excalibur".
2067
2067-2077

Floodings devastate Night City and Los Angeles

Man-made climate change causes devastating floods in Night City and Los Angeles. Parts of both cities are destroyed.
2067-2077
2067

Formation of The Mox-Gang

After the riots surrounding the murder of Lizzie Borden calm down, her club is rebuilt by like-minded people under the name "Lizzie's Bar". The gang "The Mox" - or "Moxies" for short - is formed on the premise of protecting the oppressed, especially sex workers and sexual minorities.
2067
2069

Cancellation of the Pacifica Project

Because of the increased risk of an invasion from the South during the unification war, most of the investors in the Pacifica project suspend their funding. The former workers lose their jobs and remain in the region without work or prospects.
2069
End of 2069

Outbreak of the Unification War ("Metal Wars")

In an effort to get more states back under federal rule, the NUSA - now under the leadership of their newly elected president Rosalind Myers - declare war on the separatist states of Colorado, New Mexico, Wyoming, Montana, Arizona, Nevada and Northern California. Washington, Oregon and Idaho have no other choice but to make concessions to the NUSA to prevent a declaration of war. Since this conflict is being fought with the help of modern military technology, it soon receives the name "Metal War". The Free States are secretly supplied with weapons and military consultants by Arasaka during the fighting, but NUSA troops put them under heavy pressure.
End of 2069

Unification War until today (2069-2077)

Early 2070
NUSA troops outside Night City
In early 2070, a NUSA Army division advances into the outskirts of Night City, which is considered a part of Northern California because of its location. Since City Councilman Lucius Rhyne maintains good relations with the disgraced Arasaka company, his plea for help does not go unheard: an Arasaka super-carrier arrives in Coronado Bay within a few days. The NUS Army withdraws a few hours later. The city escapes armed conflict.
Early 2070
2070
Peace Treaty in the Unification War
After Arasaka's open intervention in the war, the NUSA and the Coalition of Free States sign a reunification treaty. Although the Free States retain their autonomy, they participate in the new federal government and refrain from conflict among each other. This avoids a costly war with further corporate involvement for all sides, as well as a possible global crisis.
2070
2070
Night City becomes an Independent City-State
Night City is declared an international, independent city-state and is henceforth free from the laws of the NUSA and the Free State of Northern California. Over the following years, the corporations expand their influence on the city council and administration.
2070
2070
New Arasaka Headquarters
Night City allows Arasaka to build a new headquarters on the site of the former company headquarters, which was destroyed in 2023. It is very likely that this development is a direct result of Arasaka's support of the city during the Unification War.
2070
2070
The Combat Zone emerges in Night City
After the unsuccessful attempt by Night City security forces to evacuate Pacifica after the unification wars, the gang Vodoo Boys establishes its dominance over the area. Within the districts of West Wind Estate and Coast View, the so-called lawless "Combat Zone" emerges, in which gangs assume power. The borough is sealed off and left to its own devices by the city administration.
2070
20. August 2074
Assassination of the investigative journalist Liam Allen
While working on an article about corporate-financed construction projects in the borough of Vista Del Rey, investigative journalist Liam Allen is murdered by unknown individuals in his own apartment.
20. August 2074
2077
Climate Change becomes the greatest threat to humanity
Man-made climate change is still considered the greatest threat to mankind: clean water is becoming increasingly rare, while flooding is a major problem for many low-lying countries such as the Netherlands. On top of this come violent hurricanes and tornadoes, which exacerbate the tense situation through their unpredictability. North America, Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia are fighting against further desertification of their lands and the resultant droughts and losses of fertile land. Famines are common in Asia and Africa, and can only be mitigated to a small extent by using hydroponic cultivation techniques and vertical city farms.
2077
June 2077
Investigations in the Liam Allen case are stopped
After almost three years of unsuccessful efforts to find the perpetrator, the Night City Police Department has stopped investigating the Liam Allen case.
June 2077

Sources: Cyberpunk 2077 Timeline

We only use reliable sources for this timeline: We got the compiled and presented information either from officially licensed releases by developer CD Project Red or from the game Cyberpunk 2077 itself. Although the RPGs Cyberpunk 2013/Cyberpunk 2020, Cyberpunk Red as well as other print publications from this pen ‘n’ paper system could serve as additional sources, they only refer to the source volumes and prefabricated role-playing adventures from 1988/1990 and onwards.

Until the release of Cyberpunk 2077, it is not possible for us to estimate how much of the Pen ‘n’ Paper background has been actually incorporated into the game and how well-known characters such as Johnny Silverhand will be handled. For this reason we decided to ignore these sources for the time being and to extend the Cyberpunk 2077 timeline only when more official sources are available.

Dates that are presented as time periods (e.g. 2000-2020) cover developments that cannot be assigned to specific years with certainty. In the timeline, these are always placed at the beginning of the development.

Source: The World of Cyberpunk 2077(Dark Horse Comics, 1st edition July 2020, ISBN: 10: 1-50671-358-0

Translation: Dennis Anjuschin

Gloria H. Manderfeld

Gloria H. Manderfeld

Streunt seit über zwanzig Jahren durch virtuelle Welten und würde sowohl ein Lichtschwert als auch einen Zauberstab und einen Replikator benutzen, gäbe es derlei im realen Leben. Vollzeit-Nerd und Freizeit-Rollenspielerin.
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