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Subnautica developer fired over "many hateful statements"

Sound designer Simon Chylinski dropped from underwater survival game after history of insensitive tweets

Unknown Worlds Entertainment has dismissed its sound designer after a slew of controversial posts on social media.

Simon Chylinski served as sound designer on the studio's most recent release, underwater survival title Subnautica, but tweeted yesterday: "So. I just got fired..."

Kotaku confirmed Chylinski's dismissal, with game director Charlie Cleveland explaining: "Over the weekend we discovered that one of our team members had made many hateful statements online that are against our company values. After discussing the matter with him, we decided to stop working with him immediately."

The controversy followed a 2016 poll by Cleveland that resurfaced over the weekend, asking whether players would prefer the ability to play Subnautica as a woman or have the studio improve upon the core game.

Chylinski responded to this back in 2016, saying: "we need a 'diversity' slider in the options. It will make the character progessively [sic] darker more feminie [sic] and less sexy". Cleveland called out his behaviour, as well as several other past tweets, as "trolling" earlier this week.

Users browsing through Chylinski's Twitter account have found multiple examples of insensitive statements and posts, including messages that decry immigration from third-world countries, make light of pay inequalities between genders and reference "SJW logic."

He also makes several references to attack helicopters, a meme used to mock transgender issues. Even after being fired, Chylinski continues to bait social media, with his most recent tweet at the time of writing once again making a helicopter reference.

Cleveland has since deleted the original poll and apologised for the his "terribly-worded tweet".

He added: "I want to be very clear that I fight for women representation on our team and in our games harder than anyone. It's really important to me. I'm just sad we didn't make the main character female to begin with. Alas."

Hopefully, this does not impact Subnautica, which has been well received since recently coming out of Early Access. The game has previously been used to showcase the studio's politics, with Cleveland announced in 2016 that there would be no guns in game as a statement against gun-based violence.

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James Batchelor avatar

James Batchelor


James Batchelor is Editor-in-Chief at GamesIndustry.biz. He is based in Essex and has been a B2B games journalist since 2006