Cyberpunk 2077 developer CD Projekt Red has shared new insight and commentary around what diversity and inclusion means to the studio and for the upcoming much-anticipated RPG.
In an Polish interview translated by CDPR on its website, executive Adam Kicinski started off by mentioning that CDPR’s development team comprises people from across political and social spectrums. “Our team comprises all sorts of people, leaning left or right on legal, economic, and worldview issues–not to mention several dozen nationalities, multiple ethnic groups and many LGBT individuals,” Kicinski said. “We pride ourselves on our diversity, but we also realize that efficient operation requires active measures promoting mutual respect and tolerance.”
Another CDPR executive, Adam Badowski, said it’s important for the company to embrace and support diversity and inclusion, in will lead to better products.
“In an environment where you can simply be yourself it becomes easier to have frank discussions, share ideas, and express opinions–and that provides a starting point for many interesting activities,” he said. “When a revolution in RPGs takes place, it is because a team of bold women and men has had the audacity to express its ideas.”
Badowski went on to say that, for Cyberpunk 2077, CDPR is attempting to give players the freedom to express themselves with the character they create. The story, meanwhile, aims to be “bold, mature, and astute,” Badowski said.
“Our game is quite liberal when it comes to gender modification,” Badowski said. “The whole issue is regarded as relatively minor compared to the need to express one’s personal style–and this provides for much greater fluidity. I truly hope that, much like in the case of The Witcher games, Cyberpunk 2077 will surprise everyone with how many bold, mature, and astute narratives can be conveyed by the video game medium. I will gladly come back to this issue after the November release once I’m at liberty to share more information.”
Finally, Kicinski said the wider entertainment industry generally supports and welcomes diversity, even if this wasn’t always the case in the past. However, Kicinski observed that the video game business specifically is more agile than film, TV, and music.
“We learn a lot from the shortcomings and accomplishments of our colleagues from the motion picture, literature, and music industries, and I suppose we may be faster at implementing certain novel mechanisms,” he said. “Way back in the 20th century the superb writer Andre Norton (born Alice Mary Norton) chose to publish under a male pseudonym because her publisher believed that the masculinized readership demographic would not take interest in fantasy authored by a woman. There is no such issue with video games.”
Kicinski acknowledged that the video game industry still has problems, including the sexualization of female characters. But he contends that these issues are now being spoken about and addressed “in the open” in an effort to change them. “Sexual orientation is in a similar position. What had long been taboo in mainstream motion pictures is now turning what it should have been from the outset: stories of human romance rather than accounts of the struggle for the right to be accepted,” he said.
You can read the full interview here on CDPR’s website.
Cyberpunk 2077 will release for Xbox One, PS4, and PC on November 19. Next-gen upgrades for PS5 and Xbox Series X will be available for free.
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