If you’re big into the YouTube gaming scene, there’s a high chance that you are familiar with the controversy surrounding Jon Jafari, A.K.A JonTron. Known usually for his comedy-based gameplay videos, as well as a co-founder of the popular Game Grumps channel, some of JonTron’s latest comments tackling race and immigration have stirred up the online community.
Thus far, JonTron’s only major fallout from his comments has been a couple thousand subscribers on YouTube, but today things have expanded even further in scope. Today, Yooka-Laylee developer Playtonic dropped the YouTube personality from its upcoming game, despite it having already gone gold.
In February 2015, Playtonic invited Jon Jafari to voice a minor character in Yooka-Laylee, a Kickstarter project that reached its fundraising goal in under an hour and to this day remains the most funded UK games Kickstarter ever. The title, which is set to launch on April 11th, will now no longer feature the Jafari’s recorded voice-acting, even though it was already a part of the finished product.
“JonTron is a talented video presenter who we were initially, two years ago, happy to include as a voice contributor in our game,” developer Playtonic commented. “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.”
The Yooka-Laylee creator went on to say that Playtonic is a studio that celebrates diversity in all forms and that JonTron’s personal viewpoints are not representative of the company’s in any way.
The YouTube star, who has suffered a significant loss to his fanbase over the course of the last few days, has since posted a video replying to the controversy, explaining that he was under-prepared for the pressure of live debate. As a result, he claims that many of his remarks were easily misconstrued.
For those unfamiliar with the events leading up to Jafari’s removal from Yooka-Laylee, we’ve put together a brief explanation of the JonTron controversy, which should help explain why Playtonic felt the need to go as far as removing the YouTuber’s cameo from an already-finished game. It’s an understandable viewpoint, no matter one’s feelings on JonTron, to want to distance any project from any potential negative publicity.
Yooka-Laylee releases on April 11, 2017 for PC, PS4, Nintendo Switch, and Xbox One.