Why Cyberpunk 2077 Is Causing So Much Controversy For Its Trans Representation

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Cyberpunk 2077 is one controversy away from becoming a synonym for train wreck.

Since launch, CD Projekt RED’s hugely anticipated sci-fi RPG has been fiercely scrutinized for glaring technical issues. From literal game-breaking bugs to visual glitches aplenty, Night City can often feel like a dystopian location for reasons the developer never intended, naturally prompting players to voice their grievances online. So loud has the negativity become over the last fortnight or so, in fact, that platform holders, retailers and even the game’s creator itself, have offered full, unconditional refunds, with some outlets going so far as to pull the title from sale completely.

An unmitigated PR disaster, then, but the unfortunate circumstances don’t end there. As if the threat of a class-action lawsuit accusing the studio of deliberately deceptive advertising wasn’t horrid enough, CDPR has once again caused outrage for its representation of trans people.

For those not aware, a number of publications, including Kotaku, Polygon and CBR, took overt issue with Cyberpunk 2077 in their initial reviews of the title for a number of transphobic decisions. The now infamous “Mix It Up” advert – which depicts a feminine individual with an obvious erection – seen projected around Night City has long been a point of contention for making light of body dysmorphia experienced by trans people, but it’s far from the only offending material.

In an effort to offer progressive character creation, genitals aren’t tied to gender in-game. Vocal range and pitch, however, are, and determine if a player’s avatar is male or female, a choice ultimately resulting in criticisms that preconceptions of vocal range for both genders is inherently transphobic. These flaws, when coupled with a distinct lack of any prominent trans characters in Cyberpunk 2077‘s campaign (or, indeed, any side content) are a sensitive subject that CDPR has yet to comment on. Whether it will remains to be seen, but in the meantime, be sure to let us know what you make of the situation down below.

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