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Polygon article on JonTron and A Hat in Time (Humble Bundle responds to controversy)

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Cerium

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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
 

AlexFlame116

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Why doesn't Gears for Breakfast just....comment on it and say what they think? Even if they defend JonTron at least we'll know the story instead of continuously guessing what their motives are.
 

Fj0823

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Im glad this is getting attention.

I want Jontron to become as toxic as possible, even if I used to love his content

The devs look awful after Yooka-Laylee set a precedent.
 

NinjaCoachZ

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www.youtube.com
 

The Technomancer

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Humble has also run bundles featuring games from known Gators and of course Stardock, which is it's own shitshow
 

whipihguh

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Seriously, why isn't Gears for Breakfast saying anything.

Like, say something. Their refusal to say anything at all just seems mighty suspect.
 

ElBoxyBrown

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Why doesn't Gears for Breakfast just....comment on it and say what they think? Even if they defend JonTron at least we'll know the story instead of continuously guessing what their motives are.
They don't even need to defend him. They could just point to budget reasons and most people would understand. Being silent doesn't solve anything.
 
They’re publishing it

Humble has also run bundles featuring games from known Gators and of course Stardock, which is it's own shitshow

I was about to post that Humble Bundle wouldn't be able to have a suitable response because they're just a platform, but I forgot they were the publishers & genuinely didn't know about the latter. This is not a good look for them, either.
 

James Scott

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They probably don’t want to remove him and they know commenting on it would likely just make people upset.

Jon isn’t even a good VA in the Clips I’ve seen
 

spindoctor

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I was about to post that Humble Bundle wouldn't be able to have a suitable response because they're just a platform, but I forgot they were the publishers & genuinely didn't know about the latter. This is not a good look for them, either.

Do you reckon anyone will boycott Humble as well because of their association with the developer?
 
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Seriously, why isn't Gears for Breakfast saying anything.

Like, say something. Their refusal to say anything at all just seems mighty suspect.
Yeah. It’s infinitely more damning than just saying hey we can’t afford to patch this and replace the voice lines

At this point I’d prefer them to even come out and say that they don’t care about what Jon did. At least it would be a stance.
 

L Thammy

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I think I'd be a little more forgiving on Gears not making a statement if not for the post from the supposed ex-employee from earlier. Did they get vetted?

This one.
 

PaulloDEC

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Why doesn't Gears for Breakfast just....comment on it and say what they think? Even if they defend JonTron at least we'll know the story instead of continuously guessing what their motives are.

Seriously, why isn't Gears for Breakfast saying anything.

Like, say something. Their refusal to say anything at all just seems mighty suspect.

Because their game is just about to release, and they're probably worried that taking either side will have a negative effect on their sales.

I doubt it's much more complicated than that.
 

RRockman

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Do you reckon anyone will boycott Humble as well because of their association with the developer?

I will easily. Get all off my prebought stuff off and torch the account. Especially after hearing about them promoting gamergaters games.
 

Lijik

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Because their game is just about to release, and they're probably worried that taking either side will have a negative effect on their sales.

I doubt it's much more complicated than that.

So why didnt they make a statement when this was first brought up months ago when their game wasnt right about to release?
 

James Scott

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Because their game is just about to release, and they're probably worried that taking either side will have a negative effect on their sales.

I doubt it's much more complicated than that.
They’ve had since like March to consider taking him out.

If they feel that they’d lose more by not appealing to racists then they probably deserve a few lost sales
 

pa22word

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I mean I know it's a bad look and all, but the zero creative control thing is why Indies go to HB for publishing and it's likely part of their contract with the developer. Even if they wanted to do anything they likely can't. Dev comes out more looking Like shit here way more than humble.


If hb works with them after this game then I say fuck hb, but this just looks like they got into bed with the wrong people and didn't realize it until it was too late.
 

Granjinha

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The deal with the developer is that HB has zero creative control in the game, so yeah, nothing they can do here.

That's what I thought, which is why I wondered why anyone would assume HB had any real involvement with the game beyond securing a favourable Humble Store release, but the reality is the person writing the article wanted a quote from someone and knew they weren't going to get one from the developer, so here we are.

No. Humble Bundle as a publishing arm now, and one of the games they financed is "A Hat in Time".

There's others: Scorn, Ikenfell, No Trace With The Furries, Mineko's Night Market, etc.
 

BTA

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Humble has also run bundles featuring games from known Gators and of course Stardock, which is it's own shitshow

Yeah, in terms of damning things Humble'd done lately I would say that featuring fucking Stardock is actually worse than this since they're basically tangentially involved here.

Though you'd hope as a publisher they'd push the devs to not be so quiet.
 

sheaaaa

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That's what I thought, which is why I wondered why anyone would assume HB had any real involvement with the game beyond securing a favourable Humble Store release, but the reality is the person writing the article wanted a quote from someone and knew they weren't going to get one from the developer, so here we are.

Humble are pushing the game to some degree. https://www.humblebundle.com/publishing

This is what it looks like right at the top of the Humble homepage:

 

L Thammy

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Honestly, at least Humble Bundle made a statement.

I haven't heard of this Stardock / Gamergater bundle thing though?
 

@MUWANdo

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No. Humble Bundle as a publishing arm now, and one of the games they financed is "A Hat in Time".

There's others: Scorn, Ikenfell, No Trace With The Furries, Mineko's Night Market, etc.

Fair enough!

The reason it caught my eye is because I thought exerting pressure on peripheral partners like HB was a waste of time, but perhaps not. (Oh, who am I kidding, their response shows they aren't going to do shit, either.)
 

whipihguh

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At this point I'd prefer them to even come out and say that they don't care about what Jon did. At least it would be a stance.

I'd prefer that too, but at this point I doubt they'll say anything at all. I mean, they'll get backlash either way, sure, but I think being indefinitely silent like nothing's happening just seems cowardly.

Because their game is just about to release, and they're probably worried that taking either side will have a negative effect on their sales.

I doubt it's much more complicated than that.

The controversy with JonTron and Yooka-Laylee happened a while ago, though, and they said nothing then either, even with people asking them directly. I think whatever stance they took would've largely faded by this point.

From what a lot of people have said on this forum alone, quite a few are taking their silence as a negative anyways. I know I am.
 

kewlmyc

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I don't mind if they decide to keep him in the game, but at least make a statement on it at this point.
 
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