On Thursday, Wales Interactive announced its latest FMV game called Gamer Girl. The basic premise was that the player would be moderating the live stream chat of a character called Abicake99, and giving advice on what to do in situations. There is another layer to this as the story premise is that Abi’s friend Becky has disappeared and there is a threat to Abi from the community of people that interact with her stream. Following its reveal, Gamer Girl received a lot of criticisms from streamers and the wider community, with issues being raised that it could be seen as a power fantasy and that it gave into stereotypes of women gamers and streamers.
As the criticisms have mounted it looks like Wales Interactive has taken action by removing all mentions of Gamer Girl from its official site and YouTube channel. The original reveal trailer is now private, though there are third party uploads, and the official page has been deleted from Wales Interactive’s website. The plan was to release Gamer Girl in September for PS4, Xbox One, PC, and Switch but with the current situation taking place that could be unlikely.
At a time when abuses in the gaming industry are being laid bare, with stories of verbal and physical assaults within publishing companies, studios, and the streaming community, something like Gamer Girl does appear to hit too close to home. There is obviously a lot of work that needs to be done across industries to expose abuse and work against it. Wales Interactive stated that the point of Gamer Girl is to “to raise awareness of this issue“, but the reaction to the trailer suggests that an FMV game about a complex topic such as abuse is not the way forward in doing this. Actress Alexandra Burton who plays the lead and improvised the script has yet to comment on the situation.