As most of you probably know, I live in Japan. While there’s a great many things to say about living here, let’s face it. It’s a place that sucks if you are a PC gamer. Well, “suck” is a strong word maybe. I mean, if I were to live on a small island somewhere with no Internet access it would be measurably worse.
I have been following Cyberpunk 2077 with high interest for several years now, and I was (and still am) very eager to play it on Linux at some point. Of course, I would have probably purchased it on day one on Steam (one of the very few games I would actually not buy on sale!) but there were a few factors that got in the way…
First, Cyberpunk 2077 is damn expensive in Japan. Okay, I guess Japan is a super premium country to live in, because we get to pay the HIGHEST fricking price for the game worldwide. Even more than our Swiss friends that already pay through the nose for everything. And compared to the Europeon zone, 15% more. Most readers on Boiling Steam are from the US and you guys pay 29% less than Japan.
Alright, maybe in the grand scheme of things, it’s fine to pay more for the one game you purchase in a blue moon. After all, maybe the developers/publishers went the extra mile and added something extra in the Japanese version? Only if you have a very perverse sense of “extra.”
Turns out, the Japanese version of Cyberpunk 2077 gets a double whammy. First the Japanese pay more, and then they get even less content than everyone else. Because, you know, CENSORSHIP! You can’t have mature games in Japan. After all, it’s not like porn is freely available to all small kids over here, right?
So the Japanese version ends up with:
- all nudity replaced by characters with underwears.
- all sexual content is heavily edited
- in-game violence will be censored as well (no exposed guts and the like)
- removed billboards with provocative material
Look, I don’t want to look like I am the kind of person looking for extra gore and sex in my games, but I do want to play Cyberpunk 2077 the way it was designed by CDPR, not the game re-designed by the CERO CERO? censors who decided what I should see or not see.
It’s funny that Japan is going the extra mile there while Australia, now famous for its ridiculous stance on censoring absolutely everything, decided not to touch at all the latest production from CDPR.
Of course, there are always ways to bypass this kind of bullshit. The easiest one would be to purchase the game on GOG, but the lack of proper Linux support and the constant headache of applying patches to GOG installers is not super fun (I guess I could use Galaxy through Lutris or minigalaxy). I would like to also support Valve for their Proton efforts so my preference would be to use Steam anyway. So, how about using a VPN to purchase it on Steam elsewhere? That means creating another account just for that, and launching the VPN everytime I want to play it. Possible, but not super fun either.
In a way, I am glad that the game is still buggy at this stage and probably NOT ready for proper enjoyment on Nvidia - this means I can get a little extra time to think and consider my options again. If you happen to care about this issue and have some good suggestions to offer, I am all ears.
PS: There’s always the possibility that the Steam version in Japan is not actually censored: SteamDB does not seem to show any specific JP depot… https://steamdb.info/app/1091500/depots/