JonTron’s Voice Dropped From Yooka-Laylee

Playtonic Games’ Yooka-Laylee, a successfully crowdfunded spiritual successor to the colorful platformer Banjo-Kazooie, is a few weeks away from releasing to the public. But due to a recent controversy with internet personality JonTron, the studio has decided to remove his minor voice-acting role in the game’s day one patch.

JonTron – also commonly known as Jon Jafari – is a prominent voice in the YouTube gaming community. The founder of the network Normal Boots and the host of a popular gaming YouTube channel with over three million subscribers, Jafari is a name beloved by many for his video content. However, he recently announced several far-right views on his Twitter account, such extreme claims include the concept of “white genocide” in the idea that Mexican immigrants are trying to take over parts of America or that racial discrimination doesn’t exist anymore. This escalated into a video stream with other voices such as the vocally far-right sectionalist Sargon of Akkad and it only became more pronounced from there.

This is important because back when Playtonic was working on Yooka-Laylee in February 2015, Jafari mentioned to the studio that he was a big fan of Banjo-Kazooie. In response, Playtonic invited him to voice a minor character in the game, which he accepted.

But in response to his most recent actions and words, Playtonic has decided to remove him from the game. This will happen through a day one patch to the game when it releases on April 11. Playtonic gave an official statement to gamesindustry.biz on this action, stating the following:

“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.”

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