Sex, drugs and Cyberpunk.
With the launch of the much-anticipated Cyberpunk 2077 a mere six months away, we sat down with Studio Head of CD Projekt Red Krakow, John Mamais, to ask if the developer was worried about a refusal of classification from the Australian Classification Board.
Back in 2013, Australian gamers celebrated the introduction of R18+ rating to our video games classification system. Since then, we’ve seen many games released with R18+ stickers on the covers… though there have been quite a lot of titles that have pushed established boundaries too far and have been refused classification, or in other words, banned.
In the case of Cyberpunk 2077, concerns are focussed on the fact that sex and drugs play a big role in lore and gameplay. Specifically, we think of a statement issued when We Happy Few was first refused classification that stated that, “Computer games that depict, express or otherwise deal with matters of sex, drug misuse or addiction, crime, cruelty, violence or revolting or abhorrent phenomena… should not be classified.”
Mamais wasn’t as worried as we were.
“I think we’re OK with Australia [and its classification issues],” Mamais began. “I was looking at it recently because I knew it was going to be an issue here. And because it’s Cyberpunk there are some elements of [drug use] in the game. There’s hard drugs and soft drugs, and body enhancing drugs and all kinds of drugs.”
Moving away from drug use, Mamais also commented on how sex is represented in-game.
“And there’s sex, and strip clubs. You can have sex with people but there’s no sexualised violence [that you commit]. The player may witness something in the game or hear about something, but we’d never put the player in the position where they’d [do that to a person]. It’s just kind of tasteless.
“So as far as I know we should be clear for release in Australia.”
Mamais was also confident that Cyberpunk 2077 would see an Australian release without any censorship, though asserted that CD Projekt Red is ready should the need arise.
“We’ve censored stuff before; we’ve had to cover up nipples for Japan, and you can’t show decapitations in Japan so we had to do some censoring for Japan. We also had to do some censoring for Middle Eastern territories for The Witcher. We wanna be out everywhere, but we don’t wanna censor it. I think though if we have to, we’ll do something.”
“Don’t worry, it’ll be out here,” Mamais continued. “There’s a big spreadsheet of potentially damaging things in the game and it looks like none of that will be an issue. Famous last words, but I think it’s OK.”
Cyberpunk 2077 is planned for a 16 April 2020 release on Windows PC, Xbox One and PS4. We’ve got more from our chat with John Mamais at PAX AUS, so stay tuned.