If you'd asked me what I thought a Cyberpunk 2077 expansion would focus on after I first beat the game in December 2020, I would have guessed the heist on the Crystal Palace satellite casino teased in two of the base game's endings. According to CD Projekt Red narrative director Igor Sarzyński, though, the team was always firm on Cyberpunk's endings being the final word on V's story. Spoilers for 2077 and Phantom Liberty ahead.
"We did consider a couple of other scenarios," Sarzyński explained of Phantom Liberty's development in an email Q&A with PC Gamer. "But none of them were a continuation of the main game story.
"The endings are too diverse to have a single post-main story thread make sense for them all—and you don't want to pick one and invalidate other people's choices."
That difficulty accommodating Cyberpunk's varied endings makes plenty of sense on its own, but this decision goes even deeper than that, according to Sarzyński: "The endings are written as we wanted them—leaving players with an uneasy feeling, forcing them to think, not providing straight answers.
"They stick with you. No need to water them down. Sometimes less is more."
I appreciate that approach, a refusal to adulterate what CDPR already created. From the space station suicide assault I mentioned earlier to The Star ending's far more hopeful (if still uncertain) tone, Cyberpunk's conclusions all fit the story so perfectly, you risk cheapening them by appending something else after.
Phantom Liberty does add one potential alternate ending to the main game, but The Tower slots in among the original routes in its own quietly devastating way, rather than overwriting them: "We always knew we wanted to add an ending in which V gets the cure and survives," Sarzyński explains, "But the cost of it had to be huge."