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Chinese Dating Game Players Have Been Virtually “Cheated On” By the Developer

By Cecil Gao
Jun. 6, 2022 updated 10:30

Chinese dating sim Light and Night is trending again on Weibo with a million hits today. And again, not for the good reasons. As players angrily discovered that the protagonist they've been playing through the last year, to date the in-game characters, was based on a female employee of the company that developed the game.

This crisis started with a game glitch players found in late April. The glitch allowed players to see more background pictures and abandoned materials that are not visible during normal gameplay. Among these, players found an ID called “cutie rabbit” that lay deeply under one of the background pictures. With the discovery of the hidden test user ID, players instantly connected it to the nickname “miss bunny” used by the popular in-game character Lu Chen to address the female protagonist and began to suspect that an employee of the development company had brought some of their real-life personality or information into the game's female protagonist to satisfy their own possessiveness over the male characters.

In-game screen shot of Lu Chen making a hand shadow of rabbitIn-game screen shot of Lu Chen making a hand shadow of rabbit

Although Light and Night have officially clarified the matter, another similar incident discovered in the early days is harder to explain. While playing the game’s new event, many players  have repeatedly seen an ID named "Brown Cloud" on the left side of their screen. After “cutie rabbit”, players quickly investigated and found a social media account on Weibo with the same name as the glitch in the game.

Shockingly, by checking the content on Weibo, players discovered that the account's owner has a number of characteristics and information identical to those of Light and Night's female protagonists, including lacking a sense of direction, returning from the UK to work in Shanghai in 2019, disliking spicy food and, just like the game's female protagonist, Brown Cloud even has a best friend named Anne.

 If all the above information can be called coincidence, Brown Cloud's post in March 2020 that mentioned Light and Night's character Lu Chen has become the last piece of the puzzle. Light and Night was officially released in June 2021, and even the earliest playtest would not have been before 2021; therefore, Brown Cloud must be one of the employees of the development company that created the characters.

Evidences showing the Brown Cloud ID of the involved employeeEvidences showing the Brown Cloud ID of the involved employee

Needless to say, players were outraged that the characters they had spent money and time on were not actually themselves but rather self-inserts by women working on the game. This may prove fatal for a dating simulation game that requires a high sense of immersion. Many players expressed anger and likened it to being cheated on, saying they were stunned that their romantic encounter in the game was actually a substitute for someone else's. There are already player communities boycotting spending money on the upcoming anniversary event, demanding a thorough official investigation and an acceptable and reasonable explanation.

As of now, Light and Night made an official announcement on Weibo, stating that Brown Cloud and Anne were indeed employees of the company but have now left. The official also said that they did not refer to any employee's information or image when designing the protagonist, and they hope players can understand their honest will to provide players with the best experience of dating.