This PewDiePie guy doesn’t look good.
Game developer Sean Vanaman announced on social media today that Campo Santo, the studio behind the indie game Firewatch, will be filing a takedown against Felix “Pewdiepie” Kjellberg on YouTube over footage featuring their latest game, as well any future releases. This came hours after widely circulated footage showed Kjellberg say the n-word while streaming an online shooter.
“There is a bit of leeway you have to have with the internet when u wake up every day and make video games,” Vanaman wrote on Twitter. “There’s also a breaking point.”
Vanaman appeared to be reacting to the latest controversy surrounding the YouTube star, as this afternoon, a clip in which Kjellberg called a Battlegrounds player the n-word spread widely on message boards and social media. “What a f**ing n-” Kjellberg said, while killing an opponent. “Sorry, but what the f**. What a f***ing asshole.”
Campo Santo declined to comment when asked by Kotaku if Vanaman was responding directly to the video clip, but Vanaman’s tweets are pretty clear. “He’s worse than a closeted racist: he’s a propagator of despicable garbage that does real damage to the culture around this industry,” Vanaman wrote.
Previously, Kjellberg uploaded a full playthrough of Firewatch that has been viewed 5.7 million times on YouTube, and in the description for that 2016 video, he calls it “a wonderful story driven game.” If Campo Santo goes forward with its plan, the Digital Rights Millennium Act would be invoked to protect their copyright over Firewatch, meaning the video could be taken down. UPDATE 7:28 PM: the video is currently unavailable.
Kjellberg did not respond to a request for comment, but has been in the spotlight over the last year for a number of contentious reasons, including jokes about Jewish people, ironically embracing nazi references, and tussles with mainstream media. This latest flare-up is actually not the first time Kjellberg has said the n-word on his channel. Actually, on YouTube, hearing a personality with a large following say the n-word isn’t particularly out of the ordinary. The Battlegrounds community is also permissive here: players sometimes scream the n-word before matches start, and in some cases, offensive antics are considered a spectacle by viewers.
“I am sick of this child getting more and more chances to make money off of what we make,” Vanaman wrote on Twitter.
Vanaman also urged other developers to do the same, stating that he would “be reaching out to folks much larger than us to cut him off from the content that has made him a millionaire.”