The PewDiePie controversy plot continues to thicken.
Well-known streamer and YouTuber Felix “PewDiePie” Kjellberg has been under media fire and heavy scrutiny following an incident that happened this weekend on his live stream. PewDiePie blurted out the N-word during a heated moment while playing PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds on a live stream this past weekend, and followed up today with an apology video.
While most of his community jumped to his defense following the incident, many, including Firewatch developer Sean Vanaman jumped to social media to bash him for what he said, as well as some incidents that have occurred in the past. Many of his tweets were a call to action asking other developers to cut ties with the streamer and cut him off from their content, as well as insinuating that PewDiePie isn’t really doing what he does for laughs anymore, just to promote his brand. Vanaman even goes as far as to call him a child and saying that people like him are hurting the game industry.
Vanaman began this twitter rant with a post that read, “We’re filing a DMCA takedown of PewDiePie’s Firewatch content and any future Campo Santo games.” Although the initial post landed a serious blow in the community, a lot of the streamer’s followers began looking into the matter and called out Vanaman for not using a DMCA correctly, as well as bringing attention to the fact that the video in question was a stream of Firewatch from about two months ago.
Since the Twitter rant, PewDiePie followers have taken to steam to leave some nasty reviews for Campo Santo’s Firewatch, some of them reading things like:
- “Terrible story, too short, and social justice warrior developers. Forgettable game.”
- “At least one of the game devs seems to be a DMCA abusing SJW crybaby who is using copyright laws to wrongfully take down videos if the reviewer uses a word he doesn’t like.”
- “Some SJW dev. so yeah♥♥♥♥♥”
- “The developers seem to support censorship which I will not.”
- “The fact that the creator of this game seriously went after pewdiepie is ♥♥♥♥ing pathetic. Instead of complaining, he should ♥♥♥♥ing fix his game. Worst storyline ever”
- “This is one of the most beautiful games. Short, but amazing. Pulls you in and keeps you intrigued from start to finish. However, negative review cause the developer is a whiny baby, filing DMCA takedowns over hurtful words.”
Realistically, these bad reviews aren’t likely to have any real impact on the game, as it’s been out since early last year and has been doing quite well (much thanks to PewDiePie). On the other hand, Steam review bombing DOES work, as shown by Valve pulling the plug on paid mods very soon after its announcement. It goes to show that large, community-driven campaigns like this – no matter the cause – give an impactful voice to anger consumers.