Update 12/10/2020: Cyberpunk 2077 has seen a seizure warning to the beginning of the PC version of the game. The PlayStation and Xbox versions do not currently display one.
You can see the warning in full below, as posted by journalist Elise Favis – which makes clear that the game’s Braindance sequences are potential triggers:
Booted up Cyberpunk 2077 to see a seizure warning come up at the start of the game that wasn’t there before. Really amazing to see how @DirtyEffinHippy helped make meaningful change happen for the safety of players. pic.twitter.com/ItNwuLOxla
— Elise Favis (@elisefavis) December 10, 2020
Cyberpunk 2077 developer CD Projekt Red has issued a statement regarding reports of a seizure-inducing sequence being included in the upcoming role-playing game.
Thank you for bringing this up,” CD Projekt Red wrote, quote-tweeting Game Informer’s original report about the instances in games that could potentially induce seizures. “We’re working on adding a separate warning in the game, aside from the one that exists in the EULA. Regarding a more permanent solution, [the development] team is currently exploring that and will be implementing it as soon as possible.”
In an email to IGN, a representative for CD Projekt Red also said that the company has reached out to Game Informer editor Liana Ruppert, the writer of the original report, and will be working towards a solution.
The representative stated that CDPR is working to add a separate warning splash screen in the game to add to the warning in their EULA.
“We know gamers often skip that, so we tried to get ahead of this by having a more digestible version of the document,” the representative said. “We will also issue a special post on social media warning people about the potential trigger in the game (the braindance device). As for a more permanent solution, [CD Projekt Red] is now exploring that and we will deploy it as soon as we can.”
CDPR’s representative included an image illustrating the additional warning the company is including in their EULA.
“‘Nother warning here, an’ it’s an important one, too!” the text reads. “If you or someone you live with suffers from an epileptic condition, talk to your doctor before jackin’ into Cyberpunk 2077.”
Game Informer originally reported on Monday that Cyberpunk 2077’s Braindance sequences (a sort of storytelling tool wherein players interface with recordings of a person’s memories) contained a series of red and white flashing LED lights that deeply resembled the actual process by which doctors trigger seizures in patients.
Game Informer’s Ruppert reported that as a result of this sequence, they experienced a grand mal seizure. According to the Mayo Clinic, a grand mal seizure can cause a loss of consciousness and violent muscle contractions, and is usually caused by epilepsy.
Game Informer’s report also mentioned several other instances where glitching or lighting effects in Night City dance clubs could potentially cause seizures or epilepsy complications as well.
The inclusion of the seizure-inducing effect, seemingly making it past quality assurance and certification measures, sparked anger and disbelief from the video game community late Monday. According to Eurogamer, the UK charity organization Epilespy Action has called for an urgent update to Cyberpunk 2077, noting the seizure-inducing feature could harm players with epilepsy.
“These features are unsafe and should have been avoided to make the game more accessible,” Epilepsy Action stated. “With huge demand and excitement building for its release, it may pose a serious risk to people with photosensitive epilepsy. The developers CD Projekt RED should consider how they can update the game to make it safer. A disclaimer warning at the beginning isn’t enough. 87 people are diagnosed with epilepsy every day, and their first seizure can often come out of nowhere. Many people living with epilepsy can strive for many years to gain seizure control and it is devastating to have a breakthrough seizure. Seizures can cause injury and impact on things like driving, employment and education. In the worst cases, they can be fatal. For further information, visit epilepsy.org.uk/info/photosensitive-epilepsy.”
Cyberpunk 2077 will be released on December 10.
Joseph Knoop is a writer/producer for IGN.