Platonic Games has decided to remove Youtube personality JonTron (Johnathan Jafari) from their upcoming game Yooka–Laylee. This news comes shortly after a series of controversial comments from Jafari regarding racial issues, including immigration.
The UK developer behind the upcoming platformer offered JonTron a role in the game after he tweeted his love for the original Banjo-Kazooie series. The role of a googly-eyed microphone was offered to him two and a half months before the Kickstarter was even launched, but it’s role in the game was never stated.
Jafari is one of many Youtube celebrities to receive public backlash as a result of social media posts, as Colin Moriarty recently left Kinda Funny following a tweet on National Women’s day – something that was seemingly a straw that broke the camel’s back situation. Unlike Moriarty though, the context of JonTron’s tweets was entirely earnest.
“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.”
The statement came from an interview with Gamesindrusty.biz, where Platonic distanced themselves from the personality. In response to the statement, JonTron posted to his Twitter that while it’s unfortunate he was removed, he understands and wishes them well with their launch.
Yooka-Laylee is set for release on April 11 on Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, with a later release date for the Switch. For more information be sure to check back to the site regularly for updates.