Cyberpunk 2077 is reportedly prone to induce epileptic seizures in certain players who suffer from epilepsy, prompting UK charity Epilepsy Action to call for action.
In a public safety announcement from Game Informer, associate editor Liana Ruppert shared her time with Cyberpunk 2077 and how the game induced “one major seizure and felt several moments where [she] was close to another one”. Ruppert cited the “red glitching animations” as one culprit, as well as story interactions with Keanu Reeves’ character that incorporates a “flickering pale blue glitch effect”.
The main cause is reported to be the Braindance mechanic, which has been heavily marketed since its reveal earlier this year, and has players interacting with the memories of deceased characters. During these sequences, the player’s character will fit a headset over their head which simulates “a rapid onslaught of white and red blinking LEDs”, similar to a real-life device used by neurologists to trigger a seizure.
As a result, Ruppert has recommended avoiding direct eye contact during these sections as it “is a pattern of lights designed to trigger an epileptic episode” which is said to have triggered her epilepsy.
“We are alarmed and saddened that a game reviewer had a seizure triggered by Cyberpunk 2077, before it was even launched. The game features rapidly blinking lights and other animations that could cause seizures in people with photosensitive epilepsy. These features are unsafe and should have been avoided to make the game more accessible.
“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.”
CD Projekt RED later responded to the article, stating it is “working on adding a separate warning in the game” and looking at adding a more permanent solution.
See the full statement below:
Thank you for bringing this up. We’re working on adding a separate warning in the game, aside from the one that exists in the EULA (https://t.co/eXpPn73VSK). Regarding a more permanent solution, Dev team is currently exploring that and will be implementing it as soon as possible. https://t.co/lXFypnSit2
— Cyberpunk 2077 (@CyberpunkGame) December 8, 2020
The company has given no time frame on when the update could be expected.
The developer also recently shared details for the global release times for Cyberpunk 2077, letting players know when they can finally begin their adventure in Night City.