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Unpacking The Witcher 3's Explicit Mod Controversy

Last December, "The Witcher 3" finally got a next-gen update that did more than improve the graphics. The game included improvements (like finally being able to pet Roach) and community-sourced mods. CD Projekt Red explained that creators would be credited and paid for any mods included in the next-gen upgrade, but news broke out that one particularly explicit mod was incorporated, and the creator wasn't paid.

Last month, pictures of the Crones fully nude appeared on Reddit. Many pointed out that the females' genitals were more detailed than in the original game, and it was either a mod or retexture. Kotaku picked up the story, and things went flying from there. According to the site, the newly-nude images were nearly identical to an old PC mod called Vaginas for Everyone. However, this mod isn't cited in the game, so Kotaku reached out to the creator to see if it was indeed their mod.

The creator confirmed to Kotaku that it was their mod but that they weren't compensated in any way. However, more news from CD Projekt Red and some ideas from fans called into question whether or not the in-game details were from Vaginas for Everyone or another mod entirely.

Incorporating mods proved complicated for CD Projekt Red

Reddit user brawntyhunter pointed out that the nude textures on the Crones could have come from the mod HD Monsters Reworked Mod, which was included in the next-gen update per Nexus Mods. But there's no way to know for sure which mod the explicit content in question came from unless CD Projekt Red weighs in on the situation.

The company didn't answer Kotaku when the publication asked whether the mod was included without compensating the creators. However, CD Projekt Red did say that the detailed genitalia was "not meant to be present in the release version of the game." It went on to say that merging mods together was complicated and that it's working on a way to address the problem.

In the a forum post discussing mods and compensating creators, CD Projekt Red shared a list of popular mods that would (and wouldn't) work with the updated game. As Kotaku pointed out, Vaginas for Everyone wasn't even listed.

It's not unusual for mods to come out that do similar things. However, this might go down as just another problematic part of "The Witcher 3" update that already echoed the "Cyberpunk 2077" launch disaster.