CD Projekt Red has made it clear that they want Cyberpunk 2077 to be as inclusive as possible; This was generally assumed to mean that players would be able to select from several gender options for their protagonist with the suitably genderless name, V. The developer has elaborated on the games customisation system & it appears there will not be gender options. Instead, Cyberpunk 2077 will have a deep customisation system that goes far beyond simply choosing your character’s background; It’s CDPR’s hope that this will blur the lines between gender, allowing everyone to be the character they want to be.
In an interview with Metro, Marthe Jonkers, senior concept artist for Cyberpunk 2077, explained Cyberpunk’s approach to the sensitive issue of inclusivity & why upon starting the game, you won’t choose any gender option. On the implementation of these customisation options, Jonkers said:
With (Cyberpunk 2077) we really want to make a video game that’s really inclusive. Of course, if you tackle certain subjects then you will expect people to have an opinion about it and we respect that. And it’s good that people give us feedback. And our character creation menu, for instance, compared to the last demo we now give you so many more options. For instance, you don’t choose your gender anymore. You don’t choose, ‘I want to be a female or male character’ you now choose a body type. Because we want you to feel free to create any character you want. So you choose your body type and we have two voices, one that’s male sounding, one is female sounding. You can mix and match. You can just connect them any way you want. And then we have a lot of extra skin tones and tattoos and hairstyles. So we really want to give people the freedom to make their own character and play the way they want to play.
CD Projekt Red haven’t been immune to criticism in the past, concerning their handling of trans issues, but Jonkers assures that all criticism is taking on board & will help create the best possible game. On the topic of diversity, Jonkers discussed the Cyberpunk 2077 development team, saying…
Our team is very international and very diverse but we have asked for a lot of feedback. We always ask for feedback and even when we show these demos, we still ask people to tell us what they think. We just wanna know what we can improve on because we want to make a really good game and we really wanna make a game that everybody is comfortable playing. But at the same time we’ll tackle difficult issues. It is a cyberpunk world after all.
This news comes just days before the next public gameplay reveal for Cyberpunk 2077, so, perhaps we’ll see more of these extensive customisation options in the livestream, which you can watch on August 30th. If you’re looking for an inside look at the gameplay expected to be shown on Friday, make sure to read our opinions on the E3 2019 demo.
Whether or not these systems all work out is yet to be decided, but there is no doubt that Cyberpunk 2077 is the most anticipated game of 2020. The game is set to release on April 16th & is available to pre-order on PS4, Xbox One & PC.