The video game side of Twitter and social media exploded in the past 24 hours with equal parts outrage and confusion with the release of the Wales Interactive published, FMV Future developed Gamer Girl. The game coming this September (at least we assume it’s still releasing) on all platforms is an FMV adventure that is a live-action horror and interactive experience in which the player takes the role of a channel mod and guides the decisions of a woman video game streamer called Abicake99.
Publisher Wales Interactive first announced the game yesterday via a press release. The trailer appeared on both the Wales Interactive and official PlayStation Twitter and YouTube accounts before quickly vanishing. Both Sony and Wales have deleted the original trailer Twitter posts and the videos are now listed as private after negative reactions from the peanut gallery. (Note that Sony is not involved in the publishing or development of Gamer Girl, which is multiplatform, and seems to have simply deleted the third-party trailer at the request of the publisher.) The press kit sent with the original announcement email has also been deleted and is now inaccessible.
the official PlayStation account released a trailer for a new FMV game before quickly deleting it
i present to you: GAMER GIRL pic.twitter.com/GF477143nF
— Rod Breslau (@Slasher) July 17, 2020
While the original trailer is not viewable from official channels, multiple YouTubers have uploaded copies, and it was posted on Twitter by esports personality Rod “Slasher” Breslau. You don’t have to travel very far down the Twitter rabbit hole to see that the internet’s reaction to the game is less than enthusiastic. While attempting to portray an aura of campy horror akin to something like Sega CD classic Night Trap, the trailer for Gamer Girl comes off more like a strange Lifetime Original Movie written by men who have canceled PayPal transactions to a woman streamer because they found out she was married. (Editor’s Note: To be clear, there is no known link between the creators of Gamer Girl and the story of the Twitch mod.)
However, there are plenty of things in the realm of gaming that fans hate, yet still see the light of day. This time it appears that publisher Wales Interactive, along with developer FMV Future, is attempting to quell the noise and regroup. All remnants and mentions of the game are gone from the Wales Interactive website, including a blog post that was meant to announce the game. FMV Future still has a page listed for Gamer Girl, but all that remains is a logo. Tweets promoting the game have also been removed, but traces remain thanks to a streamer involved with the project. (Editor’s Note: That, too, has now been deleted.) Wales Interactive finally commented on Gamer Girl in a somewhat-defensive series of posts made late yesterday that are still up as of this writing, saying “Gamer Girl is an 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.”
You can read the full thread below, the last official vestige that Gamer Girl even exists:
Gamer Girl is about the impact user comments and actions have on a streamer’s mental health and wellbeing. The reason why FMV Future created the game was to raise the issue of the toxic environment which can often appear online behind the anonymity of a username…
— Wales Interactive (@WalesInter) July 16, 2020
While Wales attempts to both defend the game and remove its existence from the internet, their response seemingly fails to acknowledge the criticism around the problematic nature of a game where a woman’s actions are controlled by the presumably male character and player. For many female streamers, Gamer Girl doesn’t represent a game meant to build awareness but a real-life horror turned into a video game and given all the respect of a shlocky slasher film from the ’80s. Developer FMV Future has also stripped most of Gamer Girl from its social media, besides one retweet of someone promoting the trailer release and a link to the Twitter profile of @Abicake99, which was created back in March of 2019. While the game appears to be still coming—there’s been no announcement of cancellation yet—Wales Interactive and FMV Future appear to be going back to the drawing board on a few things after the backlash.
Set for release on PlayStation 4 this September (assuming it’s still planned for release), Gamer Girl is described by the publisher as a game where players “Adopt the role of moderator for up and coming streamer ‘Abicake99′, who’s back online after the mysterious disappearance of her friend Becky. Featuring multi-branched narrative and real-time chat simulation, your role as moderator is to control the stream, level up mod powers, guide Abi’s choices and uncover the threat she faces by an anonymous predator who hides in the stream’s chat.”
We’ve reached out to Wales Interactive for more information.