Confirming what Cyberpunk 2077's quest director Mateusz Tomazkiewicz promised in June, another member of CD Projekt Red's development team says that the game's updated character creator now lets players pick from two body types and two voice types, rather than locking them into binary male and female-gendered options.
In an interview with Metro, senior concept artist Marthe Jonkers discusses a number of topics related to Cyberpunk 2077, including the feedback CD Projekt Red has received in the wake of a handful of controversies concerning gender. "We really want to make a video game that's really inclusive," says Jonkers, adding that "You don't choose 'I want to be a female or male character,' you now choose a body type." Then, the player gets the option of choosing from two different voice options, "one that's male sounding, one is female sounding."
After criticism over a fictional in-game ad depicting a hypersexualized nonbinary model, Tomazkiewicz said that CD Projekt Red's goal for the character creator is "to give the players as many options of customization in the beginning of the game as we can." It is unclear whether the choices between two body types and two voice options reflect what will be available in the character creator at launch. In the same interview, Tomazkiewicz said the development team was looking into including facial traits not locked to a body type that "could be assigned to a man or a woman."
Some commenters online interpret this change to the character creator as the removal of the option to play as a male or female character. We don't know whether Cyberpunk 2077 allows the player to set their character's gender in an option separate from the aesthetic character creation process (we've reached out to CD Projekt Red with this question and will update if we hear back). If we assume the game doesn't, then this simply makes what was a mandated, binary gender selection—one that imposed limits on a character's in-game customizability—into the kind of choice that fans of role playing games regularly fill in beyond a game's explicit systems.
A player personally can identify their Cyberpunk 2077 character as a man or a woman without having to tick a box to that effect, in the same way that people routinely tell their own stories that aren't hard-coded into RPGs. Hopefully, neither 2077's limits on hurting story-critical NPCs and children nor this added character creator freedom will diminish your interest in the game. Be sure to check out our Cyberpunk 2077 guide ahead of the game's release on April 16, 2020.