Ugh. This is pretty repugnant.
Recently, Eurogamer posted an article that condemned sponsorship in video game journalism and had briefly mentioned Wainwright. The article was eventually edited to remove her mention in the article. It sparked a firestorm that caused many to look for more information about Wainwright. A notable detail that was discovered is that she was once employed by Square Enix and has written extremely positive reviews about their games.
Today, a Square Enix representative has publicly admitted that Wainwright is not real and was created to promote Square Enix games. Robert Peeler, Square Enix community manager, responded to a series of posts on its forums asking about the employment of Wainwright.
“I don’t think I have permission to post this, but I will do so anyway. Lauren is not a real person and is actually a character created by Square Enix’s marketing department. I deeply apologize for anyone who was swayed by her commentary or reviews.”
Many were in disbelief by this revelation, but Peeler continued to explain, “In the Eurogamer article, they mention she tweeted the following: ‘Urm… Trion were giving away PS3s to journalists at the GMAs. Not sure why that’s a bad thing?’. This was marketing’s way of convincing people that this was not bribery, but just something innocuous. In the marketing circles of many video game companies, they watch each other’s backs.”
“Her love of everything Tomb Raider, as evidenced by her Twitter account, was the real reason she was created,” Peeler explains, “Square Enix knew that Tomb Raider was dead and had to find a way to promote hype for the series again. Her love of Tomb Raider is not genuine and the actress who played her was coached on what to do say when going out to conventions and other public events.”
At this point, the thread was deleted by Square Enix and they have not officially commented on the situation. Robert Florence, the author behind the original Eurogamer article, has said on Twitter, “I knew it! **** Square. They haven’t made a good game since they merged.”