CD Projekt RED Won't Commit to Gender Fluidity in ‘Cyberpunk 2077’ (Yet)


#21

I didn’t mean to let anyone off the hook. They should absolutely include this and tie it into the themes of the material they’re adapting (with what sounds like input from Mike Pondsmith helping to steer them). I am extremely there for this representation.

But also I’m thinking back to when we tried to think of every game with non-binary characters and… this sure doesn’t seem like CDPR is being uniquely regressive but rather that they would be one of the very first AAA companies to do this because of just how rare non-binary representation has been in games up to this point.


#22

It’s a yes or no question, and if they’re going to answer it with a maybe this early in the game, I’m just going to assume they’re either cowards or that they have no intent to add the feature. Maybe that’ll make me look like an ass later, but I’d rather look foolish for doubting them than have my hopes crushed by giving them the benefit of the doubt and having it blow up in my face.


#23

So, CD Projekt has confirmed a full polish version of Cyberpunk 2077

Which makes me wonder how the hell would they implement stuff related to gender fluidity in this version.

Few possible options:

  • Switch pronouns every other sentence?

  • Try to use ‘ono’ and sentences like ‘poszłom do sklepu’?

  • Just stick to one pronoun while attempting to acknowledge greys of gender?

I think in this case, as opposed to Wiedźmin, the English version may be the original version so I don’t think something being hard to implement in Polish would make it not likely to appear at all but it does make me feel like the chances got smaller (though I am thrilled for Polish dub).


#24

So wait, did The Witcher III not have a Polish voice track? Pardon my ignorance, but I assumed that because it was from a Polish dev it would have originally been made in said language and then translated to other languages.


#25

No, no, no it had Polish track what I meant that in Wiedźmin case I would suspect the polish version was the first one and that then got translated in English while Cyberpunk 2077 may be opposite as in, English first then Polish, since it’s way more international this time.


#26

@czerwonyrower all the different languages were written concurrently. No one language was used as the base for the translation. Really interesting actually. Source:Noclip


#27

Must be real great for non-binary people being told that CDPR is considering whether to recognise their existence.

I refuse to believe people liked The Witcher games enough to buy CDPR this much goodwill. I want to play whatever those games were, because the ones I played were fussy, tedious ways to spend dozens of hours with some guy I didn’t like.


#28

Oh, big thanks for telling me that. It’s so super interesting to hear them explain their thought process.


#29

Yes, it’s actually great to hear a AAA RPG developer is considering it after years of Bethesda, BioWare, etc etc simply not caring enough to even consider it. BioWare’s underlying gender lists in their engines (while always totally failing to be exposed in the character creator as it is, demanding people choose from the binary there) has actually been shrinking with time.

Edit: The vitriol in some of these replies seems quite at odds with the actual topic in the OP (and things like Waypoint staff’s detailed/considered thoughts on previous CDPR games).


#30

Demon’s Souls’ gender selection was a slider. I realize it’s a little more complicated when you’re talking about a voiced protagonist, but for crying out loud, it’s still not complicated.

And for what it’s worth, for a console gamer raised on Bioware, Bethesda and Ubisoft, the Witcher 2 and 3 truly were revolutionary in presenting a world of moral greys with actual consequences. I’m sure for people well-versed in indie games and CRPGs, they probably aren’t that significant, but encountering The Witcher 2’s Iorveth vs. Roche choice, which basically created an entirely different second act, compared to the endless series of cop-outs that was Mass Effect 3 was pretty mind-blowing.


#31

I understand how much overhead this would add to a game of this scope with full voice acting. It’s basic string replacement in text dialogue (and a lot of editing), but so much harder when you could potentially need to double the number of recordings for every voice actor. Even if they don’t represent non-binary folks in the player character, I hope they’ll address it in the world in other ways. That’d be far less problematic from a development point of view, having a few non-binary NPCs, and maybe some quests delving into the topic a bit.


#32

Even by CRPG standards Witcher 2 is a huge deal to me. The lack of loading once the game starts up (on PC at least I forget if this was changed on 360), and having the middle act be so completely different just based on that one decision was great at a time - a time that was the peak of “why bother making content the player might possibly miss” era of AAA game design. Tons of RPGs have quests with different resolutions but having that much of the game change instead of just a conclusion or an ending is great. I think Front Mission 3 is the only other game that really comes to mind where it happen to that extent.

I was going to mention Demon’s Souls’ character creation too. I appreciated that while it asks you to choose between being male or female, it then on top of that has a slider from “masculine” to “feminine” that you adjust after making that choice, which honestly blew me away. The slider’s results don’t overlap based on the initial choice either.

The requirement that all games today gotta be fully voiced and have super real 3D graphics has always hurt character customization. It hurts dialogue and quest branching a bit too, and it’s part of the reason both have suffered a bit in general after Alpha Protocol and Dragon Age: Origins did their best. Or hell compare New Vegas and even Fallout 3 to Fallout 4.

I am willing to give CD Projekt Red the benefit of the doubt and hope that their “maybe” means “yes but technically it’s too early to say yes because it’s not there yet.” After The Witcher had been out for a bit they didn’t just remove the sex cards, they actually completely re-translated and re-voiced the entire game to be better (this is the “Enhanced Edition” that I think is the only one you can get now. And The Witcher 2 also, one of the gameplay clips they put out a few months before the game came out involved Geralt rescuing a woman from a dungeon, and the woman is topless during the escape. They mentioned they wanted to indicate that she was sexually assaulted while imprisoned and, when people talked about how stupid that was, they (much to the chagrin of the same crowd that would later metastasize into GooberGate) changed the dialogue and the character model well before the game was released.

Then with Witcher 3, again much to the chagrin of the “historical accuracy in my take drugs to enhance undead demon child communication simulator” crowd they made the cast more diverse in its DLC. And again there wasn’t a particularly huge blowback against them over the whiteness of the main cast at the time, even most articles where you see it brought up, it’s brought up as a minor nitpick in what people were calling their favorite game of that year - but they still listened and I respect that.

So now, I think if people keep requesting this of them you’ll see it despite that toxic part of their audience still being around.

THAT said, with Witcher 1 and 2, I cut them some slack because they were a relatively small studio making the games with a not huge budget. You just wouldn’t know it from the game’s presentation because (like GCS/4A as an example) they basically dropped all of their resources into developing the game rather than marketing or swanky office spaces.

So much has changed between 2007 and now, though, that it’s obviously going to be a huge disappointment if they don’t allow for gender fluidity with the game’s character creation, even if the game’s themes deal with more typical mainstream “cyberpunk stuff” it’s going to be lame as hell to not have. This is a game that’s going to have huge megahype and mainstream visibility but with CD Projekt Red self-publishing it so they can literally do anything they want with it and it will still be successful and people will eat it up just based on the reductive elevator pitch of “The Witcher 3 but first person and cyberpunk.”

It would also be a huge disappointment because of how technology has changed since when the games featured in this article were made. Like when Cyberpunk 2020 was new it did the thing where the more stuff you get implanted into you the more messed up you could get. But getting metal stuff implanted into your body was the only “futuristic” way to change yourself in pop culture, genetic modification wasn’t quite there yet in the public eye. Then like right after these games came out you got Jurassic Park coming out and X-Men getting super popular and so on. Later editions of these games take this into account so it would be surprising for a video game that’s going to position itself as The Cyberpunk Video Game for this generation of hardware DOESN’T have it.

Speaking of Witcher 2 and that other part, that reminds me, Witcher 2, Outlast, two others I’m too stupid to remember right now, like did Hostel 2 set off a micro-trend where you gotta show your game is serious by having male genital mutilation?


#34

gotta say I’m not feeling suuuuuper optimistic given the studio involved in general and their marketing department is definitely not doing any favors with stuff like this garbage (CW: transphobia)


#35

Just wow. I am beyond flabbergasted and disgusted. This is so disappointing, ignorant, immature and hurtful.


#36

That transphobic tweet was incredibly disappointing to see. I don’t know if this was some social media intern or what, but if this is indicative of a larger culture at CDProjekt it makes me think twice whether I want to give Cyberpunk 2077 any of my time at all.


#37

Not a good look…You can blame cultural differences or what have you. But this just comes across as a stupid move especially in such a sensitive and political climate.


#38

And of course, judging by Twitter this morning, this has managed to just give their more terrible gamer bro-y fanbase an opportunity to defend them.


#39

The well-reported Kotaku piece on the culture of sexism at Riot Games comes to mind. I wouldn’t be surprised.

Here’s a link to the corresponding waypoint-thread:


#40

From what I understand CDProjekt got a good deal of negative blowback before deleting the tweet, so that’s a good thing, if true. Of course the Shitty Joke Defender Force is out there, too, and I wish company PR hadn’t been so quick on appealing to the worst parts of the community.


#41

They did a “sorry if you were offended, we didn’t intend to” fake apology too.