Releasing modding tools for a game that features sex scenes has led to the most obvious outcome: a Cyberpunk 2077 mod that allows for model swaps that let you have “sex” with Keanu Reeves’ character Johnny Silverhand, amongst others.
CD Projekt Red have now stepped in to have the mod removed or its scope changed, which is no doubt disappointing for those with the hots for Reeves, but thoroughly understandable.
They issues the following explanation to Eurogamer:
“Our most important rule regarding user-generated content, game mods in particular, is that it can’t be harmful towards others. In the case of model swaps, especially those that involve explicit situations, it can be perceived as such by the people who lent us their appearance for the purpose of creating characters in Cyberpunk 2077.
“Therefore, when making fan content, creators have to make sure they’ve got permission from all the concerned parties (which might be people other than CD Projekt Red). For the characters we’ve invented for the game, we broadly permit you to tweak the game at will and just have fun. When it comes to models of real people whom we’ve asked to participate in the game, we kindly ask you to refrain from using them in any situation that might be found offensive if you don’t have their explicit permission.
In other words, while they’re more than happy for the fictional character models to be edited into the sex scenes, for any character modelled after a real person, like Keanu Reeves, you would need their permission to do so. Chances are, they agreed to very certain uses of their likeness while signing the image rights.
This kind of mod was always going to happen, though. In fact, mod creator Catmino told Eurogamer that “Keanu Reeves was one of the most asked for swaps for joytoys from the community, as I did not have him included in the very first version of the mod. On top of that, the archive files are one of the easiest to mod, as just placing the modded version into ‘patch’ folder swaps out the original one, so I believe this was something they intended for modders either way – maybe not in the sense of swapping Keanu Reeves for a joytoy, but modding models and other game files in general.”
They also opined that, “Since [there] are already sex scenes with Keanu Reeves in the game, and my mod uses the textures and models that are already in the game – I don’t really see a reason why would they go against it,” though remained open to the fact that CDPR or Keanu could object and the mod would be removed.
Model swapping is still possible, of course, with people able to manually dive in and swap them out, but an easily distributed mod using Cyberpunk’s modding tools is not going to be OK any time soon. In other words, I’m 100% certain that we’ll still see videos of Hideo Kojima and a bunch of characters from Metal Gear Solid V cropping up online, but you won’t be able to easily add them to your own version of the game…
Unless they tweet that it’s OK, that is…