Developers of Cyberpunk 2077 apologized to the Russians for inaccuracies in the Ukrainian localization
In September 2023, one of the most famous RPG games of the decade, Cyberpunk 2077, finally received a Ukrainian localization. But now the Ukrainian gaming community is outraged by the fact that the developers of the game, the Polish studio CD Projekt RED, made an official apology to Russian players for the supposedly offensive points in the Ukrainian localization. Which is a little strange, because officially this game is not sold in Russia.
The context and picture with Crimea in Cyberpunk 2077
For the sake of objectivity, since the beginning of the full-scale invasion, CD Projekt RED has expressed support for Ukraine. Back in March, the studio withdrew its games from sale in the Russian Federation and Belarus because of the Russian military invasion of their neighboring country. On February 25, it was announced that they were donating PLN 1 million (7 million UAH) for humanitarian aid. Thanks to these funds, the Prytula Foundation bought diesel generators to eliminate the consequences of the explosion of the Kakhovska Dam.
Given the studio’s stance on the war, its generally good reputation in the Ukrainian gaming community grew even more when it was announced that Cyberpunk 2077 and the game’s massive expansion, Phantom Liberty, would finally receive a Ukrainian localization.
- The translation was handled by two Ukrainian studios: Unlocteam, as well as “Шлякбитраф”, which previously localized another RPG hit, Baldur’s Gate 3. On September 21, 2023, Unlocteam announced that the translation was finally ready.
- Ukrainian fans of the game rejoiced at the news and praised the work: after all, a lot of adapted content appeared in the translation, understandable only to the Ukrainian audience. In particular, graffiti with the Ukrainian Crimea was specifically recognized.
In summary, Ukrainian gamers were happy about the localization and were waiting for the release of Phantom Liberty. This is the reason why the Polish studio’s apology to the Russians looked all the more unpleasant.
What was the apology for?
An apology appeared on the studio’s official Telegram channel for the Russian community: the very fact of a separate channel for Russian players already surprised many so much that they doubted its authenticity (and the studio even has an active VKontakte page). But this is a real channel announced on the game’s official website with a verification check mark. This channel published an apology to the Russians for the fact that some points in the Ukrainian localization could offend them.
“The Ukrainian localization of Cyberpunk 2077 contains several lines that could offend certain Russian players. These lines are not written by CD Projekt RED and do not reflect our views. We are working to fix them and replace them in the next update.”
What lines are we talking about? One of them, probably, is a free translation of the phrase, where assholes was replaced by “rusnia”:
The game also has a “Russian” pose: when the character squats like a “gopnik” and other similar jokes. Moreover, in the English-language game media it is also said that the studio apologized for the graffiti, that is, probably for the image of the Ukrainian Crimea.
Previously, the Unlocteam studio wrote that all terminology was agreed with the game developers.
How the Ukrainian community reacts to this
It was not difficult to predict the Ukrainian reaction to all this. No one expected an apology to the Russians from the Polish studio that supported Ukraine and removed its games from the Russian market.
There is also an alternative opinion: that translators should not resort to such free adaptation. According to journalist and blogger Viktor Tregubov, the developers are now apologizing not out of love for Russians, but because such trolling is illegal in some countries. Also, this situation, which is already being written about by foreign game media, may scare other foreign game studios away from the idea of making an official Ukrainian translation, because no one would like to get into the intricacies of the conflict.
P.S. We liked the jokes about Russians. Pity they will be removed.