A cyberpunk-themed game bundle from marginalised creators releases today as an alternative to Cyberpunk 2077, in protest of its “transphobia, racism, and labour exploitation.”
In case you burrowed yourself deep into comforting darkness like my adorable Syrian hamster and haven’t seen the light of 24/7 discourse, delays, and advertising plastered all over your PC and console store pages, a certain game is released today.
“You’re breathtaking” Cyberpunk 2077 is out today and it’s anticipated to set new sales records going into 2021. After years of crunch, a questionable marketing campaign, and an Epilepsy charity calling the game “unsafe,” understandably not everyone is happy about it.
Nate Kiernan, owner of Kritiqal, is curating an itch.io “protest” bundle of cyberpunk-themed games, music, zines, and more made by LGBTQ+, BIPOC, and otherwise marginalized creators, intended to “counteract the harm of 2077.”
Cementing the bundle as an alternative to purchasing the controversial game is the fact the bundle will cost exactly $60 – “or one AAA Cyberpunk” – when it too launches today, and will be available until Christmas Eve. All proceeds will be split evenly between the contributing creators, the site reads.
Kiernan argues that whatever the actual game’s content, the marketing was “culturally” damaging enough itself. That’s not even to mention the other controversies of crunch and accessibility of course.
It’s not the first example of game bundle activism that we’ve seen this year. The Bundle for Racial Justice and Equality on itch.io was a phenomenon, raising over 8 million dollars.
If you’re interested in an interesting alternative to the big release that will no doubt be plastered on every billboard, bus, and mask for the next month, the Anti Cyberpunk 2077 bundle will go on sale later today. Until the bundle goes live, you can read more about it on Kritiqal.
To deliberately misquote Johnny Silverhand, Keanu Reeves’ character in Cyberpunk 2077: “Wake the fuck up, Samurai! We have a game to burn.”