Update 03/23/17: Jon Jafari has posted a public comment concerning the situation with Playtonic, wishing them the best with their upcoming launch of Yooka-Laylee.
The original story follows below.
Playtonic Games has reportedly removed Jon Jafari, better known as YouTube personality JonTron, from his role as a minor voice actor in their upcoming platforming title Yooka-Laylee. Jafari, the founder of the channel network Normal Boots and the Let's Play webseries Game Grumps, is a fan of Banjo-Kazooie, which Yooka-Laylee intends to be a spiritual successor to. Hearing this, Playtonic offered him a minor role as a voice actor in 2015 after he had shared their Kickstarter campaign on Twitter.
Despite his fondness for Yooka-Laylee's spiritual predecessor, Playtonic has stated that a series of recent comments, videos, and stream appearances from Jafari has indicated that their personal viewpoints and Jafari's do not align, and have further stated that Jafari's in-game work will be removed via content update. Playtonic had the following to say in a statement to GamesIndustry.biz.
We recently became aware of comments made by voice artist JonTron after development on Yooka-Laylee had been completed. 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.
At the time of writing this article, Jafari has not publicly commented on Playtonic's decision to remove his voice acting appearances in Yooka-Laylee, nor has Playtonic issued a public statement. TechRaptor staff have reached out to Jafari and Playtonic for comment and will update this article when any responses are provided.
Yooka-Laylee received over 2 million pounds from a highly successful KickStarter campaign and will be released worldwide for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, Linux, and Mac platforms on April 11, 2017, with a Nintendo Switch version coming sometime in 2017.
Stay tuned to TechRaptor for more news and information on the state of Yooka-Laylee.
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