CDPR enjoys a long-standing reputation built up by the YouTube community of being the champion of the people. A reputation that isn’t entirely unearned, for the company has taken many pro-consumer positions and stances. Yet, it equally isn’t one wholly based on an honest reality. Instead, it exists thanks to an ideological blindness that refuses to allow for a nuanced perception. Leaving many when the ideological bubble bursts, feeling jaded, betrayed, and bamboozled into a corporate version of celebrity worship.
CDPR’s history, when looked at with a neutral eye, is one of blatant corporatist decisions, pandering, lies, and when all that is sorted, we have the mountain of good the company has done as well. Without delving into a full dissection of its history, the most prominent illustrator of this point is the much-beloved Witcher 3.
Without a doubt, the game was a defining moment in gaming history, and despite several shortcomings, it was overall a fine game. With that out of the way, the game’s history was far from spotless. Before launch, CDPR promised long time fans the game would not receive a downgrade, that a downgrade wasn’t even on the table.
CDPR decided to downgrade the game behind the scenes to have it function on consoles to reach a larger audience. During the game’s development, CDPR introduced playable Ciri segments because at the time, playable female characters were a huge trend in the industry. Said announcement came with bolstering praise for how awesome a character Ciri was, along with mentions of how they love her so much that if they ever decided to make DLC, she would be front and center in one.
DLC was not unveiled at the time, but as we all know, Ciri was dropped like a bad habit and not put into neither of the two substantial DLC that were released. Much of the praised free updates turned out to be cut content set aside to be released/finished later for free.
When one understands CDPR’s history, their pandering to prevailing trends, regardless of their ability to hold up over time, becomes almost expected. Sadly for the company, they opted to pander to the progressive LGBT movement that doesn’t represent the LGBT community and the Twitterati, whom most sane people view as entirely toxic.
With Ciri, their option was safe. Either people liked her, or they didn’t. No one would complain about additional options in a game. Once they’ve tasted blood, they tend to swarm and betray as there is never enough you can do for progressives and social justice warriors.
Leading up to the release of Cyberpunk 2077, CDPR has been hit with accusations of racism for their depiction of the Voodoo boys. For no other reason than depicting black people of Haitian descent as having a Haitian culture is racist. If that makes sense to you, please forward us the drugs you are on. Sharing is caring. When they depicted a Trans-Woman in an advertisement, they were called out on exploiting Trans identity.
Never mind that was the entire point of the corporate cyberpunk advertisement. Nor that the inclusion of Trans people would mean they would be exploited in advertisement and represented in the popular culture. CDPR is now guilty of being bigots, and any discussion of their game is banned or frowned upon in certain circles.
— ResetEra Takes 2.0 (@ReseteraTakes) December 6, 2020
— ResetEra Takes 2.0 (@ReseteraTakes) December 3, 2020
It would be logical then for CDPR to focus their advertisement campaign and review copy distribution on the community that made them big. Not just because said community cares about the game, not the political messaging the company is or is not doing, but because the legacy media is dying and the new media will be said content creators.
Instead, CDPR distributed copies to a handful of content creators, many of whom suffer from Trump Derangement Syndrome and spend their time virtue signaling on Twitter (See Yong Yea and Legacy Kills). At the same time, ghosting the remainder who reached out to them. Remaining copies went to media outlets that spent their reviews outright lying about the game or railing on how it wasn’t a progressive agitprop experience.
Many outlets who receive review copies did offer honest reviews of the game. Citing an experience that provides a bevy of RPG options, an expansive detailed open world filled with quests and interesting characters to meet. Yet as an experience, it is one marred by bugs and a few other shortcomings. By comparison, some outlets claim the game is short because the main story with ignoring everything else in the world takes 20 hours to complete. Other outlets claim there isn’t enough Trans representation in the game, but any in the game is pure exploitation.
It is unlikely this decision will derail a successful launch for CDPR, but in the long run, the company should wonder how many hundreds of thousands of sales did they lose over ghosting content creators in lieu of the dying establishment.