CD Projekt Red's Cyberpunk 2077 is shaping up to be arguably the most expansive RPG to date, in terms of character creation and the exploration of various mature themes, such as sexuality and violence.
However, it might not be as well-received in some countries than others.
In the case of Japan, it looks as though the game will be receiving more than just an "M" rating - it will be "heavily censored" in various areas.
According to Australian press Press Start (via Games Radar), the sexually-explicit content in the Japanese version of Cyberpunk 2077 will get a major overhaul, where underwear will be permanently added to naked characters, and will also include the "revision/removal" of various art that depicts genitalia in the game, such as posters or billboards.
This most likely will also mean that players may not be able to customise their character's genitalia, or even pubic hair, to say the least.
One main reason for this form of censorship for Cyberpunk 2077 could be due to Japan's laws with regards to pornographic content, by way of Article 175 of the Criminal Code.
This law effectively means that any depiction of exposed genitalia in an obscene manner must be "at least partly censored".
Despite it being a game, Cyberpunk 2077 does tick those boxes, which would mean any cyber-penises and vaginas would have to either be heavily pixelised (à la the adult industry in Japan), or covered entirely, hence the decision for CDPR to use underwear to cover up those naughty bits.
Additionally, there could be "selective revision" of various depictions of violence, specifically those that involve dismembering and mutilation of the human body, as well as the depiction of exposed innards.
However, the report did not state whether the aspect of making non-binary or homosexual relationship choices will be censored.
Seeing as it is a major talking point in the game, and given hundreds hours have been poured into developing the code for questlines involving them, it might be a little more troublesome to do so.
Interestingly, it appears that Japan will be the only country that will censor Cyberpunk 2077, as Australia - another country notorious for heavy censorship in multimedia - will not be censoring the game at all, and only giving it an R18+ rating.
Cyberpunk 2077 will release on November 19 for PS4, PC, Xbox One, and Google Stadia.
This article was first published in Geek Culture.