The vulva saga continues. After Kotaku broke the news that CDPR had added more realistic genitals to some of the women in The Witcher 3 with its next-gen update, then broke the news that those realistic genitals would be removed as their addition was “unintended,” it now seems that the mod itself was used by CDPR without permission (NSFW Warning).
Vaginas for Everyone is an old Nexus Mods mod created for the original PC release of The Witcher 3. It does as the name suggests: adds realistic vulva and pubic hair to many of the female NPCs, including ones who never explicitly do full-frontal nudity in the game. After examining the way the genitals are depicted in the mod and comparing them to the ones seen in the next-gen version of The Witcher 3, I reached out to the mod’s creator to confirm if their creation was indeed one of the fan-made mods CDPR had boasted about adding into the next-gen update.
Though the mod in question has two different pubic hair options, the landing strip version looks nearly identical to the genitals seen on the crones in the next-gen Witcher 3 update, down to the dusting of soft pubic hair outside of the landing strip and the layout of the labia.
According to the modder, who just recently responded to my DM on Nexus Mods after seeing Kotaku’s story, CDPR “used [their] mod” but “[they] didn’t know about it, nor did they ask [them] for permission.” While they clarified in a follow-up email that they “don’t care about that they used my mod,” the modder did offer a plausible theory for how any of this happened in the first place. Since the modder has retired from tweaking games like The Witcher 3, they said, they hadn’t seen a DM from a totally different player back in 2019. That player was the creator of “HD Monsters Reworked,” an adjustment to the game that is meant to add better textures for the creatures that Geralt encounters. If you check the changelog for the mod, many of the most recent adjustments for the HD Monsters mod say that the new version tries and makes textures more “natural.”
The message saw the other modder asking for permission to use the vagina textures for the crones, promising that the original creator would receive credit for allowing this. The modder claims that despite not responding, “the author apparently nevertheless used my mod textures for his/her own mod, but also never mentioned it nor gave credits to me on the ‘HD Monsters Reworked’ mod description page.”
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“I think because of that—CDPR just never noticed it,” they added.
In response to a question about the inclusion of the more realistic genitals in the upgraded game, CDPR told Kotaku that “the next-gen version of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt features several community-sourced mods not created by CD Projekt Red, on top of numerous enhancements created and implemented by the studio internally. Merging everything together was a complex process and the textures in question are an unintended result present in the release version. This is something we are working to address.”
The studio then confirmed that it would be removing the genitals from the update, writing “these textures were not meant to be present in the release version of the game.”
Shortly before the free Witcher 3 update released last year, CDPR released a list of 71 mods that would still work with the upgraded version of the game (including different hairstyles for Geralt, a no fall damage mod, and a gore mod), which brought 4K textures and a 60fps performance mode to the beloved RPG. The team also confirmed that it would be adding fan-made mods. The Vaginas for Everyone mod is not listed on the spreadsheet, or as one of the included mods.
Interestingly, that same forum post that lists the mods that will work with the updated game also states:
Additionally, we are including several popular mods in the update (they’ll be available depending on the platform). We obtained permissions from their creators, reimbursed them, and they’ll be featured in the credits of the updated game. The mods were reworked and assets optimised as needed, and the game adjusted to run with them. There was even a case when a dev got so engrossed in tinkering when including a mod that he ended up simply remaking that particular aspect of the game. So, in a way, the game comes with some mods already included.
Update 2/14/2023 9:30 a.m.: Added the follow-up response from the modder to the article.