CD Projekt RED has always been ambitious when it comes to the breadth of its games, but Cyberpunk 2077 is shaping up to be something truly spectacular. A recent Polish developer interview made its rounds on the internet after it claimed that the developer would depict real religions in the game, even if those depictions were offensive. However, it appears that was largely a mistranslation, and CD Projekt RED has now clarified what they meant with their own translation of the interview.
Responding to an inquiry by IGN, CD Projekt RED corrected the quote, which had originally been translated by users on Neogaf as, "[CD Projekt RED] will not avoid any subject, even if they may offend the sensitivity of some." The context surrounding the quote insinuated that Cyberpunk 2077 would feature such things as a Christian faction, which could obviously be seen as offensive by some, depending on how the hypothetical faction could be portrayed within the game itself.
However, CD Projekt RED's translation paints an entirely different picture and hinges more on player choice than anything. When asked about whether or not the world included religion, CD Projekt RED actually responded, "Yes, and in many forms. As I mentioned, our vision is somehow based on the real world. And religion is a very important part of the latter, society-wise. In our game, we’re going to see, for example, Christianity and its different branches, or religions from the East."
The interviewer then stated that the inclusion could be controversial and that players could potentially enter a church and cause "havoc", to which CD Projekt responded, "We do not want to avoid religion as a topic, authenticity of the world is what counts for us. Technically, the situation you mentioned is possible, but this is all about the choices made by the player. We won’t encourage the player to do so. In our quests, which involve religious themes, we make sure there’s no disrespect."
Obviously, the insinuations between the mistranslated quote and the real one are quite different. However, both are still almost guaranteed to cause controversy. Reports regularly claim that video games cause violent behavior, even though other studies also claim the opposite. Given recent tragedies such as the Christ Church shooting, allowing players to perform abhorrent actions in religious institutions will certainly draw some flak from various corners of the world.
CD Projekt RED's dedication to authenticity within their universe is admirable, and it'll be interesting to see the portrayal of religion in the final game. Fans still have a while to wait, but at least a new Cyberpunk 2077 gameplay demo is set to release sometime soon.
Cyberpunk 2077 will release April 16th, 2020, for PC, PS4, and Xbox One