Graffiti in Cyberpunk 2077 referencing Russia's 2014 annexation of Crimea

CD Projekt Apologise for Cyberpunk 2077 Ukrainian Script’s Potentially “offensive” References to Russians

2 min

CD Projekt have formally commented on the presence of references to the Russia-Ukraine war in Cyberpunk 2077’s recently added Ukrainian localisation, apologising for dialogue lines “that can be considered offensive by Russian gamers”, while reiterating their support for Ukraine.

In case you missed it, the Ukrainian script and menu localisation currently includes a number of antagonistic references to Russians and to the on-going Russian invasion of Ukraine. One dialogue line refers to a particular bandit group as “rusnia”, and there’s photo mode menu text for a squatting character that translates as “like a Russian”. There’s also lore text that apparently riffs on Ukrainian government rhetoric during the war, and a piece of in-game wallart that alludes to the dispute between Ukraine and Russia over Crimea.

“The release version of Ukrainian localization of Cyberpunk 2077 features elements of dialogues that can be considered offensive by Russian gamers,” the studio’s global PR director Radek Grabowski commented in a statement to RPS. “These lines have not been written by CD PROJEKT RED staff and do not represent our views. We are working to produce correct lines and substitute them in the next update.”

Graffiti in Cyberpunk 2077 referencing Russia's 2014 annexation of Crimea
Image credit: Arsenii Tarasov/CD Projekt

“We apologise for the situation and have made steps to avoid situations like that in the future.”

Localisation management team representative Mariia Strilchuk had this to add on Xitter (Grabowski supplied me with an English translation):

“I’d like to clarify re. the corrections to the Ukrainian localization. They refer to the lines where the translation lost its original meaning, including certain references to the Russian-Ukrainian war. Our support to Ukraine remains unchanged, but we prefer to show it through positive actions.”

Reading between the lines, it sounds like CD Projekt won’t necessarily remove every reference to the situation in Ukraine, just the ones “that can be considered offensive” to Russians.

According to Cyberpunk 2077’s credits, the Ukrainian localisation is the work of Kyiv, Ukraine-based SBT Localisation, but it’s not clear whether every last reference to Ukraine and Russia is SBT’s doing. In particular, the wall graffiti referring to Crimea being part of Ukraine, rather than Russia, can surely only be the work of CD Projekt’s own artists. That’s just me speculating, of course.

The Ukrainian localisation was added as part of Cyberpunk 2077’s 2.0 update, which introduced new skilltrees, quests and minigames. The update launched a few days ahead of the Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty expansion, on sale now, which Graham summarised as “perhaps the best expansion pack ever made”.