The official Twitter account for CD Projekt Red’s upcoming game Cyberpunk 2077 attracted controversy yesterday. A now-deleted Tweet sent out two days ago made a joke that is generally considered transphobic.
Transhumanist, but not transgender.
CD Projekt Red, the studio behind Cyberpunk 2077, recently got to show off some of their game at Gamescom. Unsurprisingly, there was plenty of buzz and people tweeted their approval and how they wanted more. The official Twitter account for Cyberpunk 2077 replied to one of these tweets (clip from Kotaku):
The tweet made by the account, while not inherently transphobic, refers to a transphobic joke. It’s a meme that is often used to belittle the concerns of transgender people being misgendered. The joke is comparable to claiming you sexually identify as an attack helicopter. It’s unclear if whoever posted the tweet had malicious intent or intended it to be offensive. Either way, the tweet has now been deleted after heavy backlash:
Y'all heard how excited I was for Cyberpunk 2077 after seeing the demo. But all that good will keeps being chipped away because of shit like this. This doesn't just "reflect poorly." This isn't just about "alienating your consumers." It's fucking gross, lazy, and dehumanizing. https://t.co/HuWiMUPAmt
— shadow austin walker (@austin_walker) August 21, 2018
Since then, the Cyberpunk 2077 Twitter has posted an official apology:
Sorry to all those offended by one of the responses sent out from our account earlier. Harming anyone was never our intention.
— Cyberpunk 2077 (@CyberpunkGame) August 21, 2018
This isn’t the first time a CD Projekt Red-related Twitter posted something questionable. Last July, the official Twitter for Good Old Games, which is owned by CD Projekt, tweeted a now-deleted GIF from Postal 2: Paradise Lost. It depicted the main character peeing on a grave marked “Games Journalism”. The date on the grave, August 28th, 2014, references the approximate start of the GamerGate controversy.
It’s a real shame to see a studio dropping the ball when tackling the cyberpunk genre. The genre is one that’s easily poised to explore modern themes like gender identity and transhumanism. However, it’s also been a genre that’s historically been a mixed bag in terms of being progressive. Alienating a whole demographic like CD Projekt Red did could raise worries about how they’ll handle the story in a genre where such themes are common.
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