Phantom Liberty: The Unforeseen Russian Localization Glitch and Controversial Anti-Russian Sentiments in Cyberpunk 2077
Phantom Liberty Update and the Russian Localization Hiccup
The recent major update to the popular video game Cyberpunk 2077, dubbed Phantom Liberty, has sparked a fair share of interest and controversy among the gaming community, particularly among Russian players. Several players who purchased the Phantom Liberty update reported issues with the Russian localization, initially attributing the problem to the game’s developer, CD Projekt RED.
For instance, one player, referred to here as Player A, discovered that the new implants and abilities introduced in the Phantom Liberty update were not translated into Russian. Despite deactivating the game’s mods, the issue persisted, prompting Player A to delete the mods entirely. After this action, the game appeared to function as expected, leading to the conclusion that the problem was not the game’s developers but rather user modifications or mods. This discovery has led to recommendations for other players experiencing similar difficulties to consider deactivating or deleting their mods.
Controversial Anti-Russian Sentiments in the Ukrainian Version
In addition to the Russian localization glitch, the Ukrainian version of Cyberpunk 2077 Phantom Liberty has stirred controversy due to the inclusion of anti-Russian sentiments. The Ukrainian localization included changes that were perceived as derogatory references to Russians, sparking a backlash and raising questions about the intent behind these changes.
Interestingly, the developer CD Projekt RED claimed no prior knowledge of these statements, asserting that they did not originate from anyone at the developer. They also clarified that these additions do not represent their views. CD Projekt RED later posted on social media channels, expressing their commitment to rectify the situation and replace the offensive remarks in the next update.
Some of the changes in the Ukrainian version included alteration of lines for non-playable police characters and references to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. For instance, one line was altered from “Couldn’t all these a**holes bite it out in the Badlands?” to “Couldn’t all this rusnia bite it out in the Badlands?” “Rusnia” is a term recently coined by Ukrainians to denote Russians in a derogatory light.
Developer’s Response and Apology
Upon discovery of these anti-Russian comments, CD Projekt RED issued an apology, explaining that the offensive remarks were not written by their employees and do not represent their views. They promised to replace them in the subsequent update and expressed regret over the situation. They also reassured the gaming community of measures to prevent such occurrences in the future.
The localisation of the update was reportedly the responsibility of SBT Localization, a company that has worked on other popular games like Baldur’s Gate 3, Darkest Dungeon, Kingdom Come: Deliverance, and more. CD Projekt RED has remained vocal about the war, halting game sales in Russia and donating to a humanitarian charity working in Ukraine.
Conclusion: A Lesson in Localization and Political Sensitivity
The incidents surrounding the Cyberpunk 2077 Phantom Liberty update highlight the complexities and sensitivities in game localization. They underscore the need for developers to be mindful of the potential for their products to be co-opted for political statements, particularly in regions with ongoing conflicts. The situation also serves as a reminder for the gaming community to be critical and discerning of the content they consume and the modifications they apply to their games.
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