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Polygon article on JonTron and A Hat in Time (Humble Bundle ... (READ MOD POST)

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Cerium

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Mar 25, 2015
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It's largely a summary of the situation

The backlash began in March, when JonTron espoused inflammatory views about Mexicans and African-Americans during a Twitch stream. His comments cost him thousands of YouTube subscribers, whose faith he failed to win back after a video addressing the situation failed to deliver a concrete apology. Ultimately, developer Playtonic Games decided to cut JonTron's voice role from Yooka-Laylee because of his comments.

JonTron had been attached to Yooka-Laylee since 2015, prior to the launch of its wildly successful crowdfunding campaign. As for A Hat in Time — a similarly nostalgia-skewing platformer — JonTron's voice work could be heard way back in 2014, when Gears for Breakfast made an alpha build available to backers. He can be heard in the beta build from 2015 below; back then, his character was a jazz-loving penguin. (He's a receptionist owl now.)

The news is that now publisher Humble Bundle has given their official response:

Humble Bundle told Polygon that ”we exercise zero creative control on the games we support," and the publisher has no comment on JonTron's participation in the game. We've contacted Gears for Breakfast about JonTron's role in A Hat in Time and have not yet received a response.
https://www.humblebundle.com/publishing
 

ModBot

Not a mod, just a bot.
You're allowed to boycott the game. You're allowed to not boycott the game. You're allowed to engage with people who explain their reasoning. You're not allowed to yell at or impugn people because they don't take the same position as you. You're not allowed to throw personal insults.
 

Atheerios

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Jan 11, 2016
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Man, I dislike this person as much as the next guy, but some people are just taking their hate to the extreme and looking ridiculous.
 

Machina

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Jun 11, 2015
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Personally I do feel insulted when someone insinuates that I must be a white supremacist because someone I know or worked with definitely is
 

L Thammy

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Nov 4, 2012
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Let me salvage this post, I think it was the most important one in that thread.

Code:
You can find many search results about the game that mention my name. Just search for:
"a hat in time" "peter valencia"

This is my art portfolio, showing off just a few of the many assets I made for the game.
[url]http://dropr.com/pvalencia/90246/a_h...me/+?p=1175265[/url]

I was the only one on the team who had the skills to create Snatcher in 3D. Snatcher was originally just a 2D sprite that was overlayed on the environment, but because of certain cutscenes he later had to be evolved into a full 3D animated mesh. However, this required shape key (also known as morph target) animation, something no one else on the team at the time knew how to do. I also created the pillow pile (the one you can "swim" in) in Hat Kid's spaceship, using a physics simulation. None of my colleagues knew how to do that either.

Yet despite all that, the company remained quiet after JonTron called people like me lazy welfare thieves that should be kept out of the gene pool. Not even a measly tweet saying they disagree with him.

Regardless of how much money they end up making, they're going to have to live with the consequences of this for years to come. They've now established an audience firmly within neo-Nazi and alt-right circles, and they'll have to constantly avoid offending that crowd in the future to stay in business. Best of luck with that, Gears for Breakfast.
 

Rmagnus

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Jan 31, 2017
1,027
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Man, I dislike this person as much as the other guy, but some people are just taking their hate to the extreme and looking ridiculous.

By not buying the game?

Personally I do feel insulted when someone insinuates that I must be a white supremacist because someone I know or worked with definitely is

You would not be a cop from America by any chance would you?
 

AlexFlame116

Member
May 11, 2016
10,255
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290
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This is a terrible situation that could have easily been lessened if Gears would JUST COMMENT ABOUT IT.

Staying silent doesn't help at all. All it does is drive a wedge between them and potential buyers.

But not all of the dev team is okay with this like Valen for example. At least we know that for sure. So I'm not blaming all of Gears for this. I'm blaming the people in charge who aren't doing anything about it.
 

Brite_Boy

Neo Member
Jan 15, 2017
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Irresponsible. They know it's wrong and are afraid to cause a stir. Instead they waive responsibility with their statement.
 

the_darkness

Banned
Apr 2, 2017
706
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Removing him from the game seems silly to me.

Do you remove James Woods from Casino because of the shitty things he's said and done?

I understand that it's much easier to replace a voice actor but I don't think it's necessary. He did a job he was paid for before all this stuff came out.

Wouldn't stop me from buying the game.
 

Buckle

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Oct 3, 2016
1,615
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0
Man, I dislike this person as much as the other guy, but some people are just taking their hate to the extreme and looking ridiculous.
How are they taking it to the extreme?

Wanting a guy who thinks minorities dilute the gene pool out of this game doesn't seem unreasonable to me.

He's not the kind of guy you want to associate your product with and if they think they can avoid controversy by not saying anything, they're dead wrong.
 

Speely

Banned
Oct 10, 2015
6,364
0
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Seattle, WA
I will personally never buy a game from a pub/dev that knowingly supports objectively racist people, and by "objectively" I mean there is zero room for debate in regard to their racism. I think that's a reasonable stance to take, and that's the reason I will never purchase AHiT, no matter what stance they take from here on out.
 

Machina

Banned
Jun 11, 2015
6,610
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You would not be a cop from America by any chance would you?

 
Jun 17, 2015
876
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Man, I dislike this person as much as the next guy, but some people are just taking their hate to the extreme and looking ridiculous.
Hating racism is GOOD
Calling someone a white supremacist for buying it is dumb and probably doesn’t actually happen that much, but it’s not like I can really back that up either.
 

L Thammy

Member
Nov 4, 2012
15,041
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This is a terrible situation that could have easily been lessened if Gears would JUST COMMENT ABOUT IT.

Staying silent doesn't help at all. All it does is drive a wedge between them and potential buyers.

But not all of the dev team is okay with this. At least we know that for sure.

Do we know that about the current team? The team that's still at Gears for Breakfast?

But that's my position too. Even if they aren't able to take JonTron's voice out due to some legal or financial circumstance, it should be the simplest thing to just say "we don't support this guy's beliefs". Saying that you don't support Nazism should not be a controversial position. I'm pretty sure even a lot of Nazis are willing to say that if they know there are repercussions to showing their position openly.
 

whipihguh

Banned
Feb 11, 2014
818
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0
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This is a terrible situation that could have easily been lessened if Gears would JUST COMMENT ABOUT IT.

Staying silent doesn't help at all. All it does is drive a wedge between them and potential buyers.


But not all of the dev team is okay with this. At least we know that for sure.

Yeah, this is still what's made this such a big issue. JonTron's appearance in the game is awful by itself, but Gears for Breakfast's refusal to comment on it, for months, up to not even speaking to the publisher about it to this very day, really leaves a sour impression of them, even if it's just the head of the dev team deciding that they don't speak. JonTron's ideology isn't something to be complacent about.

Unless they came out and said "Yeah, we know what he said and we don't care." That would definitely turn this into a bigger storm. But they wouldn't say that even if they believed it.
 
Jul 30, 2015
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Personally I do feel insulted when someone insinuates that I must be a white supremacist because someone I know or worked with definitely is

You may not be a white supremacist for supporting this game, but continuing to support a game while a vocal white nationalist appears in it means that you don’t think it’s *that* big of a deal

You might not support white supremacy but you’re definitely not opposing it
 
Removing him from the game seems silly to me.

Do you remove James Woods from Casino because of the shitty things he's said and done?

I understand that it's much easier to replace a voice actor but I don't think it's necessary.

Wouldn't stop me from buying the game.

The situations are a bit different. That was a finished project, completed & sent out before we knew who James Wood as a person. JonTron called for ethnic cleansing almost a full year ago. That's more than enough time to replace a couple of soundbites (And poorly done ones at that).

The issue isn't so much not getting the game because of the voice actor, so much as it is that Gears for Breakfast knew JonTron was a white supremacist & decided to associate themselves with him anyway.
 

Machina

Banned
Jun 11, 2015
6,610
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i'm sorry for wanting them to make a statement

Have you stopped to think that maybe this isn't a big deal outside of GAF circles? I'm happy to be proven wrong but this Polygon article seems to be the first sign of it mentioned anywhere more public
 

Rmagnus

Banned
Jan 31, 2017
1,027
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The fact that you know your co worker is a racist white supremacist nut job but you just decide to keep quiet about makes you a sympathiser IMO but hey feel free to post most gifs it takes less effort after all.
 

Sponge

Banned
Dec 3, 2011
7,195
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Salvaging this from the previous thread

Sponge said:
Just as a heads up to most of you unaware, there's more reasons than just Jontron's inclusion to not pick this game up. The main developer of the game, Mecha the Slag (Jonas Kærlev), is a real jerk and has a pretty dark past.



http://tumblr.maxofs2d.net/post/134320977352/amp

https://web.archive.org/web/20150319004929/http://mechatheslagtruth.tumblr.com/

Long story short, he had taken MaxofS2D's work and made a hate/doxx website about him.
 

Speely

Banned
Oct 10, 2015
6,364
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By not supporting a game that is, by all accounts, great but that is supportive of white nationalists, I am saying that I care more about opposing white nationalism (and racism in general) than I do about playing a fun game.

I think lots of people feel differently, and that is scary.
 

Alucrid

Banned
May 30, 2009
46,839
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Have you stopped to think that maybe this isn't a big deal outside of GAF circles? I'm happy to be proven wrong but this Polygon article seems to be the first sign of it mentioned anywhere more public

you're right. steam forums don't seem to care. i'm sorry again for wanting them to make a statement when other people don't care
 

Lowmelody

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Oct 31, 2013
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Personally I do feel insulted when someone insinuates that I must be a white supremacist because someone I know or worked with definitely is

The individual employee doesn't always have a choice on who you work with but their company is led by people who are choosing to associate with a white supremacist, the fallout from that lands on the leaders and by the extension the company.

I do feel sorry for the employees but it's a separate matter from the boycott. The people who made the choice to work with Jon and continue working with him after knowing what he is are to blame for their employees suffering, not anyone else.
 
Jun 17, 2015
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Have you stopped to think that maybe this isn't a big deal outside of GAF circles? I'm happy to be proven wrong but this Polygon article seems to be the first sign of it mentioned anywhere more public
This isn’t even really a response to what they said. The measure of how big a deal it is or isn’t is irrelevant to someone wanting that. This sentiment is far from something unique to GAF.
 

Brite_Boy

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Jan 15, 2017
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Removing him from the game seems silly to me.

Do you remove James Woods from Casino because of the shitty things he's said and done?

I understand that it's much easier to replace a voice actor but I don't think it's necessary. He did a job he was paid for before all this stuff came out.

Wouldn't stop me from buying the game.

I can see your point. But these companies that have a large reach need to adopt a social responsibility.

Otherwise, who else can challenge racism and power issues at an institutional level?

What are companies really saying by not rejecting known racist individuals? ...that it's okay because look, you can be racist and still be successful.

That's my concern.
 

Iva Demilcol

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Apr 26, 2014
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Just came here to say I'm not going to support this game, and maybe someone from the development team is reading this thread... maybe not, if they do though, well you may imagine why I'll never buy it.
 

Spyder_Monkey

Banned
Aug 6, 2014
8,134
0
410
Colorado
The fact that Gears for Breakfast hasn't said anything about this has made them lose a lot of respect from me. This controversy was months ago and they had plenty of time to drop him and they should have.

Besides that very few playing this game isn't going to really care. Fact of the matter is people still watch JonTron and they either don't know or don't care. It's like a mass of people put their hands against their ears and screamed "I can't hear you." all at once. I hope JonTron either a.) Gets some help or at least some perspective or B.) Never gets work because the views are just that awful.
 

AntraxSuicide

Banned
Nov 5, 2015
4,021
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270
By not supporting a game that is, by all accounts, great but that is supportive of white nationalists, I am saying that I care more about opposing white nationalism (and racism in general) than I do about playing a fun game.

I think lots of people feel differently, and that is scary.

"But muh vidya games"

You'd think not buying products made by people who support eugenics would be an easy sell.
 

Painguy

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May 24, 2014
1,387
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How are they taking it to the extreme?

Wanting a guy who thinks minorities dilute the gene pool out of this game doesn't seem unreasonable to me.

He's not the kind of guy you want to associate your product with and if they think they can avoid controversy by not saying anything, they're dead wrong.

It's a team of 7 ppl with little experience. It took them forever to make a game that it would take professionals less time. They just finished and released the game binary. You can't just change the voice. You have to go in engine, to the correct scene, rerecord the voice in a studio, touch up the new voice, look through the scene data and replace the sound, fix up dependencies on the original sound, and related code, recompile everything, add update to server, send out update, then manage PR. It's literally a team of like 7 ppl with little experience. They are probably very scared because anything they say will be used against them, and all they were trying to do is make a fun game. I hope that gives some insight into why things are the way they are. Playtonic did it cuz they are pros.

It's unfortunate that Jon is a racist dumbass, but that's not these ppls responsibility especially cuz of their dev size. Just don't buy the game or support the dev from now on. Implying that they have an obligation to go back and spend more time on the game however is a bit much IMO.
 

Buckle

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Oct 3, 2016
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The silence is a bad look for them and the worst thing they could do.

Don't know what the hell they're thinking other than they're more concerned about alt right goons spamming negative reviews than they are disavowing the wannabe white supremacist in their colorful cute game.

I'm not unsympathetic to them being stuck in a crappy situation but just say something.
 

Rmagnus

Banned
Jan 31, 2017
1,027
0
0
Removing him from the game seems silly to me.

Do you remove James Woods from Casino because of the shitty things he's said and done?

I understand that it's much easier to replace a voice actor but I don't think it's necessary. He did a job he was paid for before all this stuff came out.

Wouldn't stop me from buying the game.

Lol 1995 film would be a bit hard to remove the actor no. Of course it will not stop you from buying the game. like I mentioned in a previous post, if developers spoke out about alt right they will catch hell and boycotts. Gamers seems more accepting in general.
 

pa22word

Member
Oct 24, 2010
11,060
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I'm not so sure what good a thread reboot is. You either flaunt your privilege and chose to ignore white supremacy and ethnic cleansing and what that means by buying the game, or you don't. I genuinely don't know what the line here is supposed to be from the moderation staff as to "insulting" others. Sugar coating that a bit? Asking them to please do better next time? Because minorities don't get to decide whether or not they will be told to throw themselves into an incinerator just for waking up in the morning. At the end of the day when you can't even keep yourself from buying a video game, you are part of the problem.


Anyways I just shared my opinion on the matter and I hope I didn't insult anyone too badly. I'm sure you'll be okay, you've got a new video game to play after all.
 
Jun 17, 2015
876
2
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Illinois, USA
It's a team of 7 ppl with little experience. It took them forever to make a game that it would take professionals less time. They just finished and released the game binary. You can't just change the voice. You have to go in engine, to the correct scene, rerecord the voice in a studio, touch up the new voice, look through the scene data and replace the sound, fix up dependencies on the original sound, and related code, recompile everything, add update to server, send out update, then manage PR. It's literally a team of like 7 ppl with little experience. They are probably very scared because anything they say will be used against them, and all they were trying to do is make a fun game. I hope that gives some insight into why things are the way they are. Playtonic did it cuz they are pros.
It takes no programming skill to issue a statement. If they are too scared to say that this racist fucker in their game is bad, but they cannot feasibly remove him, then it’s just telling about their complacency in doing nothing.
 

Alucrid

Banned
May 30, 2009
46,839
0
0
It's a team of 7 ppl with little experience. It took them forever to make a game that it would take professionals less time. They just finished and released the game binary. You can't just change the voice. You have to go in engine, to the correct scene, rerecord the voice in a studio, touch up the new voice, look through the scene data and replace the sound, fix up dependencies on the original sound, and related code, recompile everything, add update to server, send out update, then manage PR. It's literally a team of like 7 ppl with little experience. They are probably very scared because anything they say will be used against them, and all they were trying to do is make a fun game. I hope that gives some insight into why things are the way they are. Playtonic did it cuz they are pros.

"they just finished and released the game-binary"

so what was stopping them from changing it seven months ago
 

Conkerkid11

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Aug 1, 2013
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I'm not so sure what good a thread reboot is. You either flaunt your privilege and chose to ignore white supremacy and ethnic cleansing and what that means by buying the game, or you don't. I genuinely don't know what the line here is supposed to be from the moderation staff as to "insulting" others. Sugar coating that a bit? Asking them to please do better next time? Because minorities don't get to decide whether or not they will be told to throw themselves into an incinerator just for waking up in the morning. At the end of the day when you can't even keep yourself from buying a video game, you are part of the problem.


Anyways I just shared my opinion on the matter and I hope I didn't insult anyone too badly. I'm sure you'll be okay, you've got a new video game to play after all.
I don't know why you couldn't resist the urge to make this post. You know fully well what you're saying about those who bought it.
 

Neo_Geo

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Sep 14, 2015
772
47
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By not buying the game?



You would not be a cop from America by any chance would you?

Not buying the game is one thing and understandable. But boycotting HB as a whole is hilariously petty and just a means to be angry that an entity doesn't want to drag out something that has already run its course.

A lot of the ones who are overreacting to all of this would be shocked, SHOCKED I tell you as to just how many things they would have to give up or boycott if all the stances of members on the entirety of said materials was made public.

It's hilarious seeing someone typing in all seriousness "the silence is speaking volumes", "Going to torch my Humble Account after this". The silence comes from knowing there are a lot of people out there that will be angry and pissy no matter what is said, and they are sitting like rabid dogs frothing at the mouth to pounce on any comment they make.

Like I said, to those people overreacting. DO NOT do research into things you don't want to give up. There is a good chance you will have to choose to be a hypocrite or lose access to useful/important things in your life.
 

L Thammy

Member
Nov 4, 2012
15,041
2
0
"they just finished and released the game-binary"

so what was stopping them from changing it seven months ago

People have speculated a financial or legal reason. I don't think either of those are particularly ridiculous suggestions, even if I don't know that either is the case.

But I don't think a statement faces the same issues. Hell, their publisher made one.
 
Mar 9, 2015
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I wanted to give them the benefit of the doubt but the longer they go silent, the more I start believe that they actually agree with Jon "Gene Pool" Jafari. Doesn't help that the main developer is human garbage himself.
 

whipihguh

Banned
Feb 11, 2014
818
0
0
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It's a team of 7 ppl with little experience. It took them forever to make a game that it would take professionals less time. They just finished and released the game binary. You can't just change the voice. You have to go in engine, to the correct scene, rerecord the voice in a studio, touch up the new voice, look through the scene data and replace the sound, fix up dependencies on the original sound, and related code, recompile everything, add update to server, send out update, then manage PR. It's literally a team of like 7 ppl with little experience. They are probably very scared because anything they say will be used against them, and all they were trying to do is make a fun game. I hope that gives some insight into why things are the way they are. Playtonic did it cuz they are pros.

Then they should have said something. If that is truly the case as to why he's still there, a comment like "We do not approve of JonTron's views and his views are not of out team. Unfortunately, we do not have the necessary time or budget to remove his work from the game at this time. Please accept our apologies." would've been enough to dodge a lot of this.

Probably would have consequences, sure, but saying nothing has let to this debate in the first place, and many people now have a very poor image of the dev team. A comment like that wouldn't be ideal.

But nothing's ideal when you work with a super-popular YouTube racist. At the very least, I doubt the discussion on this board wouldn't be as heated.
 

Painguy

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May 24, 2014
1,387
1
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"they just finished and released the game-binary"

so what was stopping them from changing it seven months ago

Game dev is very modular these days. You do things out of order (much like shooting a movie). To go back and resetup a scene while in the middle of working on another scene is something you do not want to do especially with 7 people.

Then they should have said something. If that is truly the case as to why he's still there, a comment like "We do not approve of JonTron's views and his views are not of out team. Unfortunately, we do not have the necessary time or budget to remove his work from the game at this time."

Probably would have consequences, sure, but saying nothing has let to this debate in the first place, and many people now have a very poor image of the dev team now. A comment like that wouldn't be ideal. But nothing's ideal when you work with a popular YouTube racist. At the very least, I doubt the discussion on this board wouldn't be as heated.

I agree with you. I wish they did this as well, but I can understand why they have not either. Again, the fear associated with armchair reactions destroying your lively hood seems much more immediate IMO than what could happen after making a statement.

Of course this narritive of mine is under the assumption they are in fact afraid. I hold this position because as far as I am aware they aren't messed up in the head like Jon, and so I give the benefit of doubt (which I always try to do, maybe to a fault)
 
Jun 17, 2015
876
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Illinois, USA
Man, even if you think it’s fine that they didn’t remove JonTron, I think “Why do these people keep overreacting over racism” is kinda fucked. LIKE HE IS SUPER COOL WITH ETHNIC CLEANSING, Y’ALL.
 

Azure Dream

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Oct 30, 2004
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Game dev is very modular these days. You do things out of order (much like shooting a movie). To go back and resetup a scene while in the middle of working on another scene is something you do not want to do especially with 7 people.

We're not exactly talking about a motion-captured sequence that takes 12 days at a render farm per single frame. On the technical side of it, they're replacing a single audio file. (If it really is just one line.) I can't check right now, but I think the NPC has a generic lip flap animation.

It has to be legal, IMHO. I guess returning his money isn't an option.
 
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