Update (03/1/24): Soon after the game’s announcement, developers Nightmare Forge Games found themselves facing an online backlash, but not from Disney, and the use of Mickey Mouse is such a gory fashion. Instead, the controversy came from the game’s name and the supposed references to Neo-Nazi ideology. As it turns out, the number ’88’ is a covert signal to show support for Hitler and the Nazi Party, and the game’s use of ‘gas’ to eradicate rat infestation only exacerbated the issue.
Nightmare Forge has since issued an apology and has officially renamed the game to Infestation: Origins.
In a statement to IGN, the developers said, “Unfortunately, at the time of its announcement, we were unaware of any additional meanings the number ’88’ has. Through feedback from the community, we learned it did, and therefore made this name change ASAP. We want to apologize for our ignorance on this topic and appreciate that it was brought to our attention so we could address it. There is no intentional use of Nazi symbolism in our game nor studio, and we’ll continue to address any concerns as they arise. We strongly stand against Nazism and hate in any form.”
The earliest version of Mickey Mouse, called Steamboat Willie, was made available in the public domain as of January 1, 2024, and thus shall begin creative – and in this case – twisted takes on the popular rodent.
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Nightmare Forge Games has announced Infestation 88, an episodic 1-4 player co-op survival horror game that features “twisted versions of classic characters and urban legends, ” which includes a grotesque version of Mickey Mouse.
The game is set in 1988, and as an exterminator, players must explore “unique locations”, eliminate infested dwellings, and unravel the mysteries of how each infestation began. Each area will have its own unique “classic character”, and players must hide, utilize CCTV cameras and set traps to stay one step ahead of the creature. In-game items will be randomized, which Nightmare Forge hopes will keep things fresh and boost the game’s replayability.
Infestation 88 will feature private and public lobbies, as well as proximity-based and standard voice chat. The game will also support NVIDIA DLSS, which the developers say should allow for “stunning visuals without sacrificing frame rate.”
The game is set to release later this year on Steam as an Early Access title.
Mufaddal Fakhruddin has been writing about games and technology for the past 15 years. He has lost count as to how many reviews he has written over the years, but he is sure headphone reviews make up at least 70% of that.