CD Projekt Red has announced a Cyberpunk 2077 cosplay contest to culminate in a live Grand Finale event in 2020 with a $40,000 prize pool. To make it to the Grand Finale, cosplayers will first have to qualify online or through one of several events to be held throughout 2019.

Cyberpunk 2077 is one of the most anticipated video games currently in production at any studio, thanks in part to its pedigree. It’s being developed by the people who made the smash hit The Witcher 3 and is based on the popular tabletop RPG Cyberpunk 2020. Cyberpunk 2077 had massive showings at E3 in 2018 and 2019, snagging numerous best in show awards and getting endless attention from the press and on social media, thanks in part to Keanu Reeves being cast as a major character in the game and showing up on stage.

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The cosplay contest was announced today with a launch trailer and a new page on the Cyberpunk 2077 website. It’s not unheard of for developers to hold contests to build hype for upcoming games, but this one is stunning both in the scale of the contest and the size of the prize pool. To enter, participants can design a costume based on an existing Cyberpunk character seen in the game’s official materials and submit it online now through November 30, or take part in a live contest held at the following gaming events throughout the year:

  • Gamescom (Cologne, Germany) – Aug. 21-24
  • PAX West (Seattle, USA) – Aug. 31-Sep. 3
  • Tokyo Game Show (Tokyo, Japan) – Sep. 12-15
  • Igromir (Moscow, Russia) – Oct. 4-7
  • Paris Games Week (Paris, France) – Oct. 30-Nov. 3

CD Projekt Red will choose a winner at each live event and five more from the online submissions, who will all take part in the Grand Finale event next year. Winners of the live events will receive an additional $2,000. The date and location of the event hasn’t yet been revealed, but the developer has promised to provide travel and accommodations for all 10 participants.

The winner of the Grand Finale will receive $15,000 and be featured in a photoshoot for “a premier entertainment magazine.” The second and third place contestant will take home $10,000 and $5,000, respectively, and they’ll all receive a copy of the Cyberpunk 2077 Collector’s Edition, a gift bag of swag based on the game, and a “kick-ass trophy.” Finalists may even be asked to appear as official cosplayers to promote the game later.

If that seems like a lot to put into a fan contest, well, it is. The Witcher 3 was a massive success for CD Projekt Red, so it’s got money to burn and likely wants Cyberpunk 2077 to be an even bigger hit. The studio could also use all the good will it can get right now after catching flak for making a transphobic joke on one of its Twitter accounts and elements of the game’s E3 demo being considered transphobic and racist by some players. Whatever the motivation for the contest is, it should at least give some fantastic cosplayers a chance in the spotlight.

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