Cyberpunk 2077 is one of the most anticipated video games coming out next year. In fact, it could very well end being one of the most anticipated games ever as hype continues to build. Not a week goes by where there’s not some degree of major or semi-major story, and we’re still a good ways from the official release. The game is also an ambitious one, maybe not so much in the actual physical scope, but what it hopes to accomplish in creating an open and inclusive experience for everyone.
In an interview with Metro, Senior Concept Artist Marthe Jonkers said that the studio hopes to create a game that will, in some way, touch on a lot of diversity. The main focus they talk about is the amount of options you will have in creating your character, going beyond binary gender options as a key example, as a way for multiple people from multiple backgrounds to find themselves in the game.
“You know, [with Cyberpunk 2077] we really want to make a video game that’s really inclusive,” said Jonkers. “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. So you choose your body type and we have two voices, one that’s male sounding, one is female sounding. You can mix and match. You can just connect them any way 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.
“Our team is very international and very diverse but we have asked for a lot of feedback. We always ask for feedback and even when we show these demos, we still ask people to tell us what they think. We just wanna know what we can improve on because we want to make a really good game [with Cyberpunk 2077] and we really wanna 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.”
It’s a minefield, for sure, as there’s a very vocal subgroup of online communities who are violently against any type of alternate inclusion, but you risk walking in muddy waters with groups you’re trying to represent if you don’t really know what you’re doing. Either way, Jonkers is right, it’s sure to inspire some strong opinions either way, but if you’re going to do cyberpunk, let’s do it all the way and push forward to see where we ultimately end up.
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