The day is finally here. Nearly eight years, two presidents, one global pandemic, and one infestation of murder hornets after the video game's first teaser trailer dropped on YouTube back in 2013, we're finally hours away from Cyberpunk 2077, which some are calling the most anticipated RPG release of the past decade.
Yet it seems some players can't wait another minute to revel in the game's dystopian glory (because 2020 just isn't enough), which drops at 12 a.m. GMT (or 7 p.m. for us east coasters) on Thursday for PC and midnight local time for everyone else, proverbially moving to New Zealand to catch an early glimpse at the free state of Northern California. Over the past few hours, several Xbox users around the globe allege they can access the game by shifting their consoles to New Zealand time, allowing them to roam free around the world, with some even taking to Twitter to brag about the impressively low-tech hack.
"Got cyberpunk installed. Changed my xbox location to New Zealand. Now I can begin playing at 5am central time on the 9th," wrote user @null_is_one "Um, I mean, I live in New Zealand and look forward to playing this game at my regularly scheduled release time." Nice.
However, this is no new phenomenon. For years, Xbox users (minus Kiwis who can't time travel) have long used The New Zealand trick to let them play their favorite games before their official release. It's become so predictable that user @CP2077Countdown even made a quip last week about how he expects the island nation's population to dramatically shift on release day.
"Fun fact: The population of New Zealand is approximately 5 million people. Bold prediction: New Zealand will double its population in one week's time," they wrote on Twitter.
Early video games and notably lack of Covid-19? Who can blame these new New Zealand citizens. Hell, as Games Radar put it, "it's always midnight somewhere." Happy playing, folks.