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Playtonic removes controversial YouTuber JonTron from Yooka-Laylee

“We do not endorse or support JonTron's personal viewpoints”

UK developer Playtonic has removed the controversial YouTuber JonTron from its upcoming title Yooka-Laylee.

JonTron - real name Jon Jafari - has found himself in the news in recent weeks following a series of far-right views about immigration, ethnicity and nationalism.

Jafari is the founder of channel network Normal Boots, plus the host of a series of other YouTube shows. He personally has over 3m subscribers to his channel. His views were made apparent on Twitter and spilled over onto a video stream, and included the idea that Mexican immigrants are attempting to claim parts of America.

He reportedly lost a number of subscribers on the back of the controversy, although he has since attempted to clarify and downplay some of those views.

Jon Jafari has over 3m YouTube subscribers

In February 2015, when it became apparent that Jafari was a big fan of Banjo-Kazooie, Playtonic invited the YouTuber to voice a minor character in Yooka-Laylee - the spiritual successor that generated over £2m via Kickstarter. An offer that was accepted.

However, following the recent controversy, the developer has decided to remove him from the game. The title launches on April 11th.

"We recently became aware of comments made by voice artist JonTron after development on Yooka-Laylee had been completed," the firm told in a statement.

"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."  

Update: Jafari has responded to Playtonic's decision on Twitter. He wrote: "Unfortunate to see Playtonic remove me from Yooka Laylee, but I understand their decision. I wish them the best with their launch!"

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Christopher Dring avatar
Christopher Dring: Chris is a 17-year media veteran specialising in the business of video games. And, erm, Doctor Who
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