Developer Playtonic has announced that shamed YouTuber JonTron will no longer star in upcoming platformer Yooka-Laylee.
JonTron, whose real name is Jon Jafari, found himself at the centre of controversy earlier this month after an interview in which he espoused a string of heavily racist views. As a result the UK studio has now scrapped plans for his voice role in their game.
"We recently became aware of comments made by voice artist JonTron after development on Yooka-Laylee had been completed," Playtonic told Games Industry. "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 per cent comfortable in our game worlds, or distract from the incredible goodwill and love shown by our fans and Kickstarter backers."
Surprisingly, as much as the move has been celebrated by many, there are still sections of the fandom who support JonTron and the argument that he should be free to express his views. Pockets of fans are now calling for a boycott of the game, although it’s a stretch to imagine this have any meaningful impact on the back of its tremendous crowdfunding success.
If you’re willing to entertain the argument that Jafari’s views should be protected, have a listen to the interview and see what you think after that: