Anti-Russian remarks found in Ukrainian localization of Cyberpunk 2077 were spotted by users on Steam and have caused an uproar, with some accusing CD Projekt Red of “open Nazism and Russophobia.” The Polish studio has apologised but denied prior knowledge of the content.
Introduced with update 2.0, the Ukrainian localisation of Cyberpunk 2077 reportedly includes dialog and graffiti that criticise Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. These changes were spotted by gaming site Zone of Games, via Rock Paper Shotgun, and include a line for a non-playable police character that says “Couldn’t all these assholes bite it out in the Badlands?” — which was edited to say, “Couldn’t all this rusnia ‘bite it out’ in the Badlands?” (‘rusnia’ is a recently coined term used to denote Russians in a derogatory manner). There’s also new graffiti that shows the outlines of Crimea, the peninsula that was illegally annexed by Russia in 2014. The graffiti is reportedly showing the Ukrainian coat of arms and a symbol representing the Crimean Tatars sprayed over a map of Ukraine.
The alterations were made by SBT Localization, the Ukrainian company responsible for localisations of titles such as Baldur’s Gate 3, Darkest Dungeon, and The Stanley Parable: Ultra Deluxe. These comments were allegedly added to the game to reflect the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. Tarasov told me that the graffiti was meant to show that in Cyberpunk 2077’s world, Crimea is a part of Ukraine. “The Ukrainians have their own version of reality, so they’ve included their own interpretation in the game,” he said.
This sparked criticism from Russian gamers who alleged that the content incites national and racial hatred towards Russia. Users took to the official forum on Steam, claiming that the new content was an example of open Nazism and Russophobia. One user called for a boycott of the game and for CD Projekt Red to cease sales in Russia and Belarus.
In an apology on the forum, CD Projekt Red denied having anything to do with the dialogue or graffiti and said that it will remove or replace these elements in the next update. The company apologises for the unintended offensive content and reiterates its commitment to maintaining a respectful and inclusive gaming environment.
CD Projekt Red has been vocal about its support of Ukraine, having donated to a humanitarian group and ceasing game sales in Russia and Belarus. The studio has also taken to social media platforms in Ukraine to apologise for the controversies surrounding its latest additions to Cyberpunk 2077. It’s unlikely that these comments will placate the anger of Russian players, however, given the context of the current crisis in their homeland. Regardless, this is an issue that should be addressed promptly and in a way that avoids further escalation. Hopefully, this will be achieved in the near future. You can read the full statement from CD Projekt Red at its official website. We will continue to monitor the situation and provide further updates as necessary.