CD Projekt Red has endured pushback for gender representation in Cyberpunk 2077, but the developer is eager to respond to fan feedback and create a more traditional cyberpunk experience. The studio has begun with the character creator, adjusting it to allow for gender options beyond the binary male and female.
“You know, we really want to make a video game that’s really inclusive,” senior concept artist Marthe Jonkers said in an interview with Metro. “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.”
After selecting your preferred body type, you then have the option to give your character one of two different voices. “One that’s male-sounding, one is female sounding,” Jonkers said. “You can mix and match. You can just connect them anyway 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.”
By providing more agency over your character’s preferred gender and skin tone, CD Projekt Red is hoping more players are able to create the type of protagonist they want in Cyberpunk 2077. Most NPCs you meet will have an established gender and sexual orientation as well in hopes of curating more believable in-game relationships. But the team is open to further changes and welcome feedback from their fans. “Our team is very international and very diverse but we have asked for a lot of feedback,” Jonkers said. “We always ask for feedback and even when we show these demos, we still ask people to tell us what they think. We just want to know what we can improve on because we want to make a really good game and we really want to 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 was in response to a transgender person who addresses his concerns on Twitter and CD Project responded by going nonbinary genderless. That demographic however only count a small percentage of the Cyberpunk Community but most are open to the idea of a nonbinary character.