Cyberpunk 2077 Devs Apologize For Content That May Offend Russian Players


Polish development studio CD Projekt Red has issued an apology for some of the content included in the Ukrainian version of Cyberpunk 2077's recently released DLC, Phantom Liberty. The apology comes after players pointed out several instances of anti-Russian rhetoric appearing in the Ukrainian localization of the game.

One example of the game's "anti-Russian sentiment" includes a group of bandits being referred to as "rusnia," a phrase considered to be derogatory towards Russians. References to Russia's invasion of Ukraine can also be found in the game, including some graffiti in Night City that suggests the game takes place in a future where Ukraine has regained control of Crimea, which is currently under Russian control after a 2014 invasion.

Even photo mode contains a certain pose (which depicts the game's protagonist squatting) which may be seen as offensive. The pose is called "Like A Russian" in the Ukrainian localization of the game, whereas most other versions of the games simply call the pose "Slav Squat."

In addition to the controversy surrounding both the pose and the anti-Russian graffiti, players are also claiming the Ukrainian localization of Cyberpunk 2077 includes some in-game lore that's a clear reference to the actions of Ukraine's government since the war started in February 2022. A line of dialogue that generally means something along the lines of "We're f***ing through" in other versions of the game has been changed to "Go f*** yourself in the same direction as the ship did" in the Ukrainian version--an obvious reference to the statement made by Ukrainian border guard Roman Hrybov shortly before Ukraine successfully sank the Moscva, the flagship of Russia's Black Sea Fleet.

The pose in question is referred to as Slav Squat in nearly every other version of the game.

These findings were addressed via an apology from CDPR's global localization management team representative Mariia Strilchuk, which has been translated below:

"I'd like to clarify regarding the corrections to the Ukrainian localization," Strilchuk explained in a Twitter post. "They refer to the lines where the translation lost its original meaning, including certain references to the Russian-Ukrainian war. Our support to Ukraine remains unchanged, but we prefer to show it through positive actions."

Meanwhile, the studio's global PR director, Radek Grabowski, shared his thoughts in a statement to Rock Paper Shotgun. The English translation reads:

"The release version of Ukrainian localization of Cyberpunk 2077 features elements of dialogues that can be considered offensive by Russian gamers," he commented. "These lines have not been written by CD Projekt Red staff and do not represent our views. We are working to produce correct lines and substitute them in the next update. We apologise for the situation and have made steps to avoid situations like that in the future."

It's not yet clear which parts of of the Ukrainian version of the game will be toned down or removed altogether, but based on Grabowski's comments, it's certainly sounding like some of the dialogue lines will be tweaked. For a closer look at the dialogue changes, see this side-by side comparison posted by Russian gaming site Zone Of Games.

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