Gamer Girl Announcement Pulled by Wales Interactive Following Backlash
It appears as if all assets have been removed as well.
Wales Interactive appears to be heavily backtracking on the announcement of Gamer Girl after facing backlash online for the FMV title from developer FMV Future. The game was marketed in a way that showed the game to be about your role as a moderator as you watch a streamer get harassed and stalked by some creepy weirdo. It’s your job to basically save her and be the best moderator ever. Apparently there was more to it, but this wasn’t clear in the trailer.
Wales Interactive took to Twitter to explain that the game is designed to show the “impact user comments and actions have on a streamer’s mental health”. It also explained that the story is about the “empowering story of a female streamer who, with the help of her moderator friend, battles the trolls and — overcomes— the toxic characters in her stream”.
Apparently, the “research into the streaming content of Gamer Girl took 4 years and the dev team at FMV Future interviewed dozens of female streamers, most of whom have experienced abuse of various kinds online.”
Additionally, it clarifies Gamer Girl is designed to raise awareness. And in replying to accusations that the script was written by men, Wales Interactive confirms that the script was co-written by Alexandra Burton who is also the lead actress and improvised all of the screenplay.
Online abuse is real and is still happening every day — Gamer Girl seeks to raise awareness of this issue.
— Wales Interactive (@WalesInter) July 16, 2020
Wales Interactive defended itself when people began to mistake the publisher as the developer and makes sure to clarify that it didn’t make the game. However, since the backlash, it seems as if the game has had its announcement pulled. The press release I had has been deleted along with press assets, even PC Gamer has confirmed this. GamesIndustry.biz reports that the games section on Wales Interactive is currently down, While official trailers have been pulled, you can still watch it on numerous YouTube mirrors.
Personally, the entire concept seemed bad in general from how the trailer made it out, and the message the developer and publisher seem to be claiming wasn’t clear. While the subject matter was to raise awareness, I don’t think to have you play as a moderator commanding a streamer on what to do works as well as it probably sounded on paper. Alanah Pearce reacted to the trailer and pretty much summed up what was so bad about it.
At current, the fate of the game remains unclear. Wales Interactive certainly appears to have taken all of the announcement materials down, but whether they’re pulling out of publishing or working with the developer to create a more accurate trailer is another question. Considering how long the game seems to have taken to be created, I doubt it’ll be completely killed off and maybe we’ll see it re-announced in a new light.
Gamer Girl is said to be launching on Nintendo Switch, PC, PS4, and Xbox One in September.