[Update] IGN received an English translation of the interview from CDPR and claim to have verified it themselves. Apparently, the fan translation on NeoGAF was faulty, to say the least.
Gry Online WP (English): You mentioned religion. Does it still exist in the Cyberpunk world?
CD Projekt Red (English): Yes, and in many forms. As I mentioned, our vision is somehow based on the real world. And religion is a very important part of the latter, society-wise. In our game we’re going to see for example Christianity and its different branches, or religions from the East.
Gry Online WP (English): Sounds controversial. Someone will enter a church to cause havoc.
CD Projekt Red (English): We do not want to avoid religion as a topic, authenticity of the world is what counts for us. Technically, the situation you mentioned is possible, but this is all about the choices made by the player. We won’t encourage the player to do so. In our quests, which involve religious themes, we make sure there’s no disrespect.
Have this in mind when you read the following.
[Original post] Cyberpunk — well, the post-humanism it spawned — seems almost like a religion at times. However, Cyberpunk 2077 will feature real-world religions — and may even have something to say about them.
GameWatcher reports that the developers of Cyberpunk 2077 recently gave an interview in Polish. It was translated by the community. “We will not avoid any subject, even if they may offend the sensitivity of some,” said the rep. The line sounds very interesting in light of the recent controversy over the sexualization of trans women in in-game ads.
“Our vision of Cyberpunk is not to describe an alternative world but a continuity of our world. Some things will look like our current reality,” said the studio rep. ” For example, Christianity is present in the game and will even have a faction.” One should note that there was some small exploration of religious topics in other cyberpunk games like Deus Ex: Human Revolution and even Shadowrun.
The journalist supposedly noted that this might cause a controversy, which didn’t seem to deter the CDPR representative: “We are not here to say whether it is good or bad.” But is Cyberpunk 2077 to say something new? Religious groups in cyberpunk games (and other media, like Altered Carbon) are often used as an easy crutch to create a group of anti-modification zealots.
And will Cyberpunk 2077 handle the question with tact? Just last year, CDPR came under fire over a transphobic tweet on their official Twitter account. GOG.COM stepped on a similar rake in October. They clearly have space to improve, and if we remember what happened with Techland’s Call of Juarez: Cartel, a Polish studio may have difficulty handling the representation of a multicultural society.
That’s not to say that Polish studios are uniquely troubled by these issues; the reveal of Doom Eternal gameplay not even a year ago featured a “demon could be an offensive term” joke.