People are dragging Final Fantasy XIV: Dawntrail online – because it features a trans voice artist

Angry Final Fantasy XIV fans are taking to Steam to slam new expansion pack Dawntrail, with many singling out trans voice artist Sena Bryer and bombarding her with criticism and abuse.

Bryer voices Wuk Lamat, a central NPC (non-player character) in Final Fantasy XIV: Dawntrail, the fifth expansion pack for FFXIV: a massively multiplayer online role-playing game developed and published by Square Enix.

She’s described as a “beloved member of Tuliyollal’s ruling family (who) has recruited the Warrior of Light to aid her in the rite of succession. Wuk Lamat must win the throne if she wishes to preserve a peaceful nation for her people, and so has joined the contest against rival claimants of formidable ability.”

The Warrior of Light, also sometimes known as Adventurer, is the player’s created character in FFXIV.

The Dawntrail DLC was released on 2 July, but has already dropped to a “mixed” rating on Steam due to a flood of very negative reviews, according to The Gamer.

Most describe Wuk Lamat as “annoying” or “insufferable”, however in the FFXIV discussion section on Steam, some people claim that players wouldn’t be criticising the character so much if Sena Bryer wasn’t transgender.

One Steam user wrote: “I guarantee if she wasn’t voiced by a trans woman, and looked like Y’shtola, people would be wifing her all over the place.” Y’shtola Rhul is one of the main characters from the Limsa Lominsa story in Final Fantasy XIV. 

Other comments in the discussion forum misgender Sena Bryer, while one person even suggests changing the game’s language to Japanese to avoid hearing a trans woman.

Over on X (formerly Twitter), the attacks were arguably even more vicious and transphobic, with some people accusing Square Enix of going “woke” by using a transgender voice artist.

However, many people also voiced their support for Sena Bryer and her performance, with one fan tweeting: “Gentle reminder, Wuk Lamat is an incredible character, and the person who brought her to life is a trans woman and she did a f**king fantastic job. with gaming being as toxic as it is right now, its a great reminder that there are moments like this that deserve to be celebrated.”

The negative comments about Bryer echo similar ones aimed at fellow trans voice artist Zooey Alexandria, who faced “hideous attacks” from online bigots after her Dead By Daylight character The Unknown made its in-game debut in March 2024.

Who is Sena Bryer?

(okay NOW I can announce it hehe)

I am so so so honored to be the voice of Wuk Lamat in FINAL FANTASY XIV!

I cannot thank @FF_XIV_EN @SquareEnix @SideGlobal @AtlasTalent enough for the the dream role of my life.

I’ll see you in Tural! pic.twitter.com/78eb1kTt2P

— Sena ryer (@senabryer) January 16, 2024

Sena Bryer is an accomplished voice actress who has also portrayed characters in Hearthstone and Need for Speed Unbound (2022) amongst many others. She previously voiced Wuk Lamat in FFXIV: Endwalker. She’s originally from Kentucky and has a degree in Creative Writing. She currently lives in Los Angeles.

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