YouTube star Jonathan “JonTron” Jafari has been embroiled in controversy over remarks he has made in regards to race, immigration, and various other heated political topics. The controversy has been building for some time, with little sign of letting up. Today it has manifested in actual consequences within the video game industry, with Yooka-Laylee announcing that they will remove his voice work from the game.
The announcement was made in a scathing rebuke of JonTron and his philosophies.”We recently became aware of comments made by voice artist JonTron after development on Yooka-Laylee had been completed,” said Yooka-Laylee developer Playtonic.
“JonTron is a talented video presenter who we were initially, two years ago, happy to include as a voice contributor in our game. However, in light of his recent personal viewpoints we have made the decision to remove JonTron’s inclusion in the game via a forthcoming content update. We would like to make absolutely clear that we do not endorse or support JonTron’s personal viewpoints and that, as an external fan contributor, he does not represent Playtonic in any capacity. Playtonic is a studio that celebrates diversity in all forms and strives to make games that everyone can enjoy. As such, we deeply regret any implied association that could make players feel anything but 100% comfortable in our game worlds, or distract from the incredible goodwill and love shown by our fans and Kickstarter backers.”
It is rare for a game developer to make such a clear political statement, though with the incendiary response that JonTron has received from practically all corners of the internet, it is likely not a very controversial stance for them to take. There’s no word on how long it will take for the content update to arrive, so players will likely still encounter JonTron’s work shortly after launch.
Yooka-Laylee releases on April 11th for PS4, Xbox One, and PC.