A lead dev, and by association the entire production of the indie role-playing game Heartbeat, has been accused by transphobia due to comments made by the girlfriend of said dev regarding transgender individuals.

Around midnight on September 20th, a Twitter user by the handle Nikotine posted a thread discussing how they personally felt “ashamed to be born” in America due to the recent social focus on transgender activism, labelling male-to-female transgender individuals as “men [who] believe they can mutilate their penis and dress in an “effeminate” manner to become “female:”

While Nikotine is not a member of the Heartbeat dev team, she is both a well-known fan-artist within the game’s community and the girlfriend of lead dev and artist Shepple.

Nikotine quickly faced backlash for her opinions, with many who felt offended by her comments directing accusations of transphobia towards Heartbeat and the developers due to a perceived guilt by association:

One user even called for others to submit complaints en masse to the Better Business Bureau in an attempt to “see Heartbeat fail as a game” due to Nikotine’s comments:

Following the initial outrage towards Nikotine, an accusation of transphobia against Shepple made by a former friend resurfaced:

Screenshots of Shepple’s alleged transphobic discord statements were also shared. In the screenshots, Shepple’s rhetoric appears to be more curious as she attempts to reconcile her personal feelings on the matter, though it is currently unknown if these are the only Discord communications she had regarding the topic or if this is the extent of her opinions:

Heartbeat Dev Accused of Transphobia Due to Comments Made by Girlfriend

Heartbeat Dev Accused of Transphobia Due to Comments Made by Girlfriend

Social media users outraged at the comments made by the lesbian couple soon took to Steam in an attempt to review bomb Heartbeat, resulting in a total of 24 negative reviews referencing this event before Steam reversed the review bombing and classified it as a “period of off-topic review activity.”

Heartbeat Dev Accused of Transphobia Due to Comments Made by Girlfriend - Steam Review Bomb

Since the backlash began, Nikotine has remained unmoved in her opinions, and has stated that her “personal views on gender ideology and the trans community have nothing to do with my girlfriend’s game.”

Shepple has yet to comment on the matter, as according to her Twitter account, she is currently taking some time away from her social media accounts to process the passing of relative.

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    Spencer Baculi

    Spencer is the Editor for Bounding Into Comics. A life-long anime fan, comic book reader, and video game player, Spencer believes in supporting every claim with evidence and that Ben Reilly is the best version of Spider-Man. He can be found on Twitter @kabutoridermav.