It seems that YouTube personality JonTron’s latest controversial statements are causing waves among developer circles interacting with him. In a statement to GameIndustry.biz earlier today, developer Playtonic noted that they would be dropping JonTron’s voice-acting cameo from the game:
We recently became aware of comments made by voice artist JonTron after development on Yooka-Laylee had been completed
For those out of the loop, JonTron — Jon Jafari — has recently come under blast for his political opinions, causing a rather large upset among his 3 million subscriber base. Developer Playtonic had asked JonTron (a little over a year ago) to voice a minor character in the game, given his following and love of the franchise.
— Playtonic (@PlaytonicGames) February 16, 2015
Why is this decision being made now, versus immediately after the controversy? Reasonable minds may point to an inquiry posted on Playtonic’s forums early this morning asking if Jafari would still be making an appearance. User NNI started the thread asking “Does anyone know if this actually ended up happening? I don’t really want to hear this guy’s voice in the game.” News of his removal would be announced only hours later.
Worth noting, the game will seemingly ship with Jafari’s voice-acting intact — given that the game has already gone gold, and is firmly within the hands of reviewers. Instead, the voice-acting removal will come in a later content update:
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.
As many know, Yooka-Laylee is the Kickstarted 3D mascot platformer which raised £2,090,104 — far above their £175,000 goal. Yooka-Laylee releases on April 11, 2017 for PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One; the game will come to Nintendo Switch at a later date.