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 Euro 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 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 remote possibility that the Steam version in Japan is not actually censored: SteamDB does not seem to show any specific JP depot…
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Just buy the crappy game off GoG, you don’t have to pirate it. …any of the big-three kanbinis (Lawson, 7&i, Family Mart) should have Visa gift cards which can be used as credit cards.
Interesting, I did never think, that there is so much censorship in Japan.
I always thought we are very freaking in censoring games in Germany. LOL
Fellow readers, the real reason to refuse to buy this game should be to “teach CDPR a lesson”: It is inexcusable to force ones staff to a collective burnout by allowing and not discouraging “crunch” practices. It’s a shame. I really want to play this game and honour the talent and hard work of their devs. By spending money for this game it’s just more likely that we consumers send a message of ignorance and tolerance for abusive work practice. Nice article about this: https://www.fictiontalk.com/2020/12/23/was-the-cyberpunk-2077-crunch-worth-it/
To be fair I have yet to meet a developer who did not have to go into crunch mode before releasing a big game. Even indie game devs work their asses off to release their own titles. If you want to discourage that, then not buying games at all would be the right thing to do, because it’s a very competitive business by nature.
While I do agree with you I’d like to add that this is a problem nowadays with software engineering in general, and the constant pressure to release at all cost. What ever happened to “it’s done when it’s done”? Devs are seriously understaffed and overworked. It’s one thing to be a developer who works his/her ass off on his/her own terms, and another, to be forced to do that, that’s all I meant. So maybe, approx. 60 bucks are better spent elsewhere.
Why not just download the DRM free GOG version and then buy on Steam if you want to buy the game on Steam to support the game and Steam ?
You mean buying the game twice or are you suggesting pirating the GOG version?
I think he meant pirating.
Yeah. Even if it were kind of OK to do that (because I would still buy the game in Steam for example), pirating games on GOG is a mess if you need to have access to updates afterwards – and a game like Cyberpunk is going to get lots of updates over time, so it’s more of a hassle to pirate it to be honest.