Night City. A place that’s both hated and loved. It is loved by those who see it as a place to thrive on, like corrupt businessmen, opportunistic mercenaries, and tough gangers. It is hated for almost the exact same reason. Many consider it a place of scum and villainy.


These things just make Night City all the more interesting as a fictional place. It is the perfect setting for a game such as Cyberpunk 2077, where the stories told are harsh and encounters with corrupt, powerful people are frequent. However, not that many players may know most of what needs to be known about this fascinating city. It’s one of the most ambitious places that developer CD Projekt Red has ever created and there are so many small details and secrets to be found. Here are some things that players may not know about Night City.

Updated October 4, 2022 by Ritwik Mitra: Night City is one of the greatest cities in video game history. Cyberpunk 2077′s recent resurgence has helped more people appreciate the amazing work CD Projekt Red have put into bringing this city to life in the best way possible. Here are more some lesser-known facts about this city that most people might not be aware of.

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15/15 CD Projekt Red Hired Real-Life City Planners To Create The Area

Night City genuinely feels like a lived-in space that is full to the brim with packed boroughs, crime-laden slums, and an expansive desert where nomads have made their home. It’s clear that a ton of planning went into creating this amazing urban landscape.

CD Projekt Red wasn’t cutting any corners while developing this massive city. This can be seen in the fact that the company hired city planners to make Night City as well-made as possible, which is absolutely brilliant.

14/15 Many Consider It The Worst Place To Live In America

Night City is a place where crime and corruption run rampant. Sure, it might be a place where dreams come true…but this city also punishes people for being naive or ambitious, with only a select few managing to achieve long-term success in this region.

So, it’s no surprise that Night City has, in the world of Cyberpunk 2077, been voted as the worst place to live in all of America. Given the cyberpunk dystopia that has taken over the entire world, this proves that Night City is a special brand of terrible on its own.

13/15 The City Was Meant To Have A “Disneyland” Design

Disneyland is an area where different cultures, IPs, and worlds are housed under the same roof. This is an enticing piece of design that was used in the creation of Night City as well.

Chinatown, Japantown, Corpo Plaza, Pacifica, and a bunch of other areas house elements from other cultures in one massive city. This helps each area of Night City look unique without feeling too out of place.

12/15 The City’s Birth Rate Has Fallen By Record Levels

Night City is as dystopian a city as can be. It might be a beautiful urban sprawl at times, but that doesn’t help anyone who stays in this area and is constantly exposed to its hardships time and time again.

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The fact that the city’s birthrate fell by 7% in 2076 shows just how much toll stress and death is taking on the people of Night City. It’s the third-worst decline in North America, which is pretty damning indeed.

11/15 Its Famous Slogan Replaced The City’s Previous Tagline

Most people know that Night City is called “The City of Dreams.” Various people have either crafted a lasting legacy here or died in the process, which goes to show just how ruthless this city is and how this slogan is pretty ironic in its own way.

Speaking of which, Night City actually used to have an entirely different tagline: “City on the Edge of Tomorrow.” Given how bleak the future of Night City is, it’s easy to see why this slogan was changed over time.

10/15 It Is An Autonomous Free City

Before Night City’s status as an autonomous Free City can be understood, one must first learn what it means to be an autonomous Free City in Cyberpunk. More commonly known as Free States, these states are still a part of the United States, but they have more independence wherein they can declare federal laws invalid, and even make up their own.

Night City is more of a unique case, however. It is the only territory that officially owns the title of “Free City.” It is officially not part of any state, nor does it belong to any country. Night City is its own entity, and by 2077, it is mostly run by the Arasaka megacorporation.

9/15 Richard Night’s Dream

Richard Night was a United States businessman who foresaw the Collapse during the late 1990s. This event saw an immense economic crash that would hurt millions of Americans, regardless of age and status. To be free from this catastrophe, Richard Night dreamed of an ideal new city where the hopeful could thrive. To fulfill this dream, he founded Night International.

Richard Night’s company managed to secure a capital big enough to start the ambitious project. When the Collapse happened, tons of corporations turned to Night International, hoping to have a city free of crime and poverty where they can establish their businesses.

8/15 A City Run By Corporations

Richard Night’s ultimate goal was to create a city where corporations could thrive. In this ideal city of his, the government would be run by corporations. Laws would be tailor-fitted to ensure corporate growth. Essentially, it would be a capitalist’s haven.

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Even before construction began, Richard Night had managed to bring in EBM, Petrochem, Meril, Asukaga & Finch, and Arasaka to invest in his dream.

7/15 It Was Constructed In 1994

Richard Night’s goal of creating a metropolitan of progress officially began in May 1994 when the construction of his dream city finally began. The Night International’s project was majorly bankrolled by Petrochem and Meril, Asukaga & Finch. There’s just one problem with that, though, they weren’t construction companies.

Because of this, they hired the West Coast Mobs, which consisted of the Mafia, Yakuza, and other groups, to oversee the construction of the city.

6/15 It Had A Different Name

When Richard Night was planning the construction of his dream city, he originally called it “Coronado City.” During the construction of the city, Richard Night constantly received threats against his life. The construction was often sabotaged by mobs and he received threats daily.

Richard Night’s partners dealt with these issues with an iron fist. However, on September 20, 1998, approximately four years after the construction of the city began, Richard Night was shot and killed in his penthouse suite. His killer was never found. In honor of Richard Night, the city was officially renamed Night City.

5/15 The City Stands On A Massacre Site

Back when Richard Night was still looking for patches of land upon which he will build his dream city, he read an article regarding a ghost town where a horrific massacre had occurred. This area was called Morro Bay.

Because of its history, Richard Night was able to purchase the land for a lower price. The Arasaka Corporation was then brought in to eliminate the gangs who loitered the place to make the area an official safe place, which is needed for construction to begin. To disassociate his dream city with the massacre that occurred on the land, Richard Night and his partners renamed the place Del Coronado Bay.

4/15 The Mob War

After the death of Richard Night, the mobs only got more aggressive. By 2005, the mobs had become a very powerful force in Night City. As the years passed, the corporations that established Night City and the mobs who wished to control it would engage in a war later known as the Mob War.

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After putting most of their resources into the war, and especially after Arasaka rained down their well-trained paramilitary troops on the mobs, the war was easily won. The later years would then be dedicated to rebuilding, revitalizing, and ensuring Night City would be a proper place to live, free of mobs and crime. Of course, that would only go on for so long.

3/15 The Time Of Red

Night City became an important ground during the Fourth Corporate War, which ended up being majorly played by Arasaka Corporation and Militech International Armaments. During the climax of the war, in an effort to destroy the Arasaka master database, Militech decided to bomb the Arasaka Tower, which was one of the tallest buildings in existence at the time.

This bomb was personally detonated by Johnny Silverhand, though most who had a hand in the bombing were unaware of the extent of its destructive powers. As a result, the blast killed 12,000 people, and even more in the following days. The blast caused a dust cloud and its particles affected the skies to glow a crimson red color. Those who lived to see it called the event “The time of Red.”

2/15 Lack Of Animals In Night City

By 2077, animals are a very rare sight in Night City. This wasn’t always the case, though. Things changed when during the second half of the 21st century, Night City became plagued with animal-borne diseases. It got so bad that the casualties rose up to about 12,000 by 2061.

This caused the city council to eliminate animals, mostly birds. Citizens can still own pets, but only if they’re willing to pay huge tax bills.

1/15 Real-Life Location And Inspiration

According to Mike Pondsmith, the original creator of the Cyberpunk tabletop games, Night City is located in Morro Bay and Baywood-Los Osos, geographically speaking. Looking at Night City, though, the place has no resemblance with its real-life counterparts anymore due to modifications to fit the lore.

In the Cyberpunk 2013 and 2020 games, the city design of Night City closely resembles the street grid of downtown San Francisco. While designing Night City for Cyberpunk 2077, CD Projekt Red has cited Blade Runner, Akira, and Ghost in the Shell as inspirations.

Cyberpunk 2077 is available now for PC, PS4, PS5, Stadia, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X|S.

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