Screengrab via Pikamee/YouTube
Popular VTuber Amano Pikamee has announced her graduation from VOMS Project after three years with the group. While this is a sad moment for VTuber fans, there was speculation that she’s leaving due backlash she received when she wanted to play Hogwarts Legacy on stream.
The announcement was made last night via the VOMS Project Twitter account, where it stated that Pikamee will graduate and terminate her activities by the end of March 2023. The group asked the fans to support the graduating VTuber for month remaining before her departure.
The news was also announced on Pikamee’s YouTube channel, in a video titled “Arigatou!” where she said that she will end all activities by the end of March, Japan time, and that she has enjoyed her time being a VTuber. She apologized to those who might have felt shocked or saddened by the news.
While many expressed disappointment at the VTuber’s departure, there was speculation that this might be due to backlash when she announced that she will be streaming Hogwarts Legacy. In a now-deleted tweet that was originally posted on Feb 7, 2023, Pikamee called out those who didn’t want her to play the new Harry Potter game, telling them that “she’s not supporting something specific” and just wants to play it.
This led to speculation that the boycott and harassment of Twitch streamers for playing “that wizarding game” was the cause of her decision.
Fortunately, the Hogwarts Legacy controversy isn’t the reason why she’s graduating. If you read the graduation announcement very closely, it showed that the graduation was already planned before Hogwarts Legacy was released to the public. Twitter user @ToastCrust pointed out that there is no way that a pop-up store would be organized immediately after a video game backlash due to negotiations and planning. This meant that the graduation was meant to happen. It’s just that the news was announced after the VTuber received hate, which led to misinformation.
However, there are debates about the order of events since Pikamee’s deleted tweet was on Feb. 7, and the pop-up store was first announced three days after. Whatever the case may be, it looks unlikely that Pikamee decided to graduate due to backlash.
After Pikamee graduates, all of her accounts will be made inactive and private. Meanwhile, her merch will no longer be sold once she’s gone and will be discontinued. As for uploaded content, all of it will be deleted after her final stream.
Ever since Hogwarts Legacy was released, there has been a campaign to stop Twitch streamers from playing the game. This sparked online bullying and harassment from both sides, and a website (which was eventually taken down) that was used to identify if a Twitch streamer was playing the game. Regardless, the game ended up becoming the most streamed game during launch, peaking at around a million views on Twitch alone.