Cyberpunk Creator Mike Pondsmith Addresses Cyberpunk 2077 Criticisms

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Despite the positive on-stage reaction that CD Projekt’s Cyberpunk 2077 received at the E3 2019 Xbox Press Conference, the internet was still adamant to rally against the game. There were numerous criticisms about the game during the course of E3 2019 week, from claims of sexism to misrepresenting transexuals. But one particular complaint has triggered a response from the original Cyberpunk role-playing game creator, Mike Pondsmith.

The complaint came about when one journalist reported their discomfort at taking on two rival in-game gangs that had majority black players, putting emphasis on the fact that one of these gangs were called the Animals, and another being a Haitian group called the Voodoo Boys. This sparked claims that CD Projekt Red were insensitive to blacks and other cultures.

But Cyberpunk creator, Mike Pondsmith is black himself and has been playing an active role in the development of Cyberpunk 2077. In a thread on Reddit, Pondsmith wrote the following:

“Want to say this just once. I am really tired of well meaning people on internet chat boards paternalistically telling me what I, as a black person, should be offended by. You want to be my ally? Go gird up your loins and at this year’s Thanksgiving dinner, have the nerve to tell your racist Uncle Bob to STFU for a change.”

While at E3, Pondsmith also spoke on how proud he is of the Voodoo Boys gang; noting that CD Projekt Red even made sure to get Haitian Creole right before including them in the game. Pondsmith also notes that the Animals aren’t referred to as such in a derogatory way, but rather because they see themselves as animals.

Mike Pondsmith at E3 2019 talking Cyberpunk 2077

Clearly, many of the people causing an outrage didn’t bother to check the race of the Cyberpunk creator or the lore of the Cyberpunk world. Much of the themes in Cyberpunk 2077 come from Mike Pondsmith’s original visions. Not to mention, the player can also create a character of any gender or any race, potentially eliminating any inklings of racism when killing a minority group.

What are your thoughts on Cyberpunk 2077? Let us know in the comments!

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Gary A. Swaby Co-founder/UK Managing Editor
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