Amid Pewdiepie Controversy, Firewatch Gets Review Bombed

Amid Pewdiepie Controversy, Firewatch Gets Review Bombed
Image: Firewatch

The fallout from the latest drama involving Felix “Pewdiepie” Kjellberg and Campo Santo continues, with a fairly logical target finding itself in the firing line: Firewatch.

For those not up to speed, everything kicked off earlier this week when Kjellberg dropped the n-word while streaming PUBG. Campo Santo’s Sean Vanaman took to Twitter to announce that his studio would be filing takedown strikes against any footage of their games, past or future, and encouraged other developers to do the same.

So while the internet digested that, and the YouTube community parsed the potential impact on the platform and Kjellberg’s career, gamers responded through another medium: Steam reviews.

Amid Pewdiepie Controversy, Firewatch Gets Review Bombed
Amid Pewdiepie Controversy, Firewatch Gets Review Bombed
Amid Pewdiepie Controversy, Firewatch Gets Review Bombed

Some users openly referenced Campo Santo’s usage of DMCA strikes, while others have just criticised the game – although recent reviews have no play time in the past fortnight, meaning users played the game before the latest scandal, and are either updating old reviews, or just posting one now.

Amid Pewdiepie Controversy, Firewatch Gets Review Bombed
Amid Pewdiepie Controversy, Firewatch Gets Review Bombed
Amid Pewdiepie Controversy, Firewatch Gets Review Bombed

The battle has overflowed into Firewatch‘s Steam forums as well, with several threads such as “2 wrongs don’t make a right”, “FLAG THIS GAME ON STEAM”, “Campo Santo Uses Political Correctness”, “Shameful”, “Welcome to the blacklist” and “WILL NEVER BUY THIS GAME”.

Amid Pewdiepie Controversy, Firewatch Gets Review Bombed
Amid Pewdiepie Controversy, Firewatch Gets Review Bombed
Amid Pewdiepie Controversy, Firewatch Gets Review Bombed

The overall impact hasn’t had a detrimental effect on Firewatch‘s overall user rating – it’s still at 87% with more than 25,500 reviews – but Steam’s change to how reviews are displayed means the “recent” rating appears as Mixed.

The review bombing began before Kjellberg’s apology, but that hasn’t impacted the backlash towards the game. A string of threads with the n-word were on the front page of the Firewatch forums at the time of writing, and at least 150 separate threads were created in the last 48 hours. Before the controversy, days would often pass between new threads.

Amid Pewdiepie Controversy, Firewatch Gets Review Bombed

A glimpse of the Firewatch forums, saved by the Web Archive on September 2

It’s not the first time users have responded to a developer’s actions on social media by brigading a game on Steam. It doesn’t necessarily affect a game financially – especially something that’s been out for a year, like Firewatch – but it has been effective in the past for players in getting their voice heard.

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The Football Manager series has always been one of the most popular games on Steam. But if you checked out the reviews for Football Manager 2017, you'd assume something was very, very wrong.

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The backlash is also a reminder of how quickly things can change. Only last year, Campo Santo was being praised by the community following a response to a player conflicted over whether they should refund Firewatch.

Firewatch Developer Offers Classy Response To Steam Refund Request

Last weekend, one Firewatch player was having a monetary dilemma. They'd beaten the game. They liked the game, which tasks players with hiking in the Wyoming wilderness. But they also felt that spending $US18 ($25) for a 2-3 hour experience might be asking for too much.

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  • These gamergate cult members sure do have a lot of free time on their hands.

    I usually prefer to spend mine actually playing games, instead of finding things to manufacture outrage about.


    • Tad far, I’d venture. I think there’s a lot of people worried about what might happen when shadier companies and publishers use DMCA strikes the same way. Or even just going down the Nintendo route.

      The threads whining about SJW etc. is patently garbage, but the can of worms that’s been opened is pretty tricky.

      • I more believe that it’s the only line of protest available to them in the gaming space. It’s clear that voting with your wallet doesn’t work, so they even taken to voting with reviews instead.

        Whether it works or not is up for debate.

    • Except they aren’t manufacturing anything? Campo Santo abused a legal tool for their own personal agenda setting a precedent where other companies can potentially call in DMCA strikes just because they don’t like what someone’s saying somewhere in the internet, not just while playing their game. A lot of the responses are unproductive but the sentiment is perfectly valid. There’s already a lot of issues with people misusing the copyright claim system, we don’t need more.

      • There was no abuse of DMCA. Campo Santo used the system legitimately to make a legitimate copyright claim. Part of the rights associated with copyright is the freedom to choose who you let use it and who you don’t.

        • What? no they didn’t, they came out and said it would be used as a ‘moral punishment’, once you say that, thats the premise and motive if it goes to court. Its simply footage anyway, not defacement of a brand, you’d have to prove there was intent to damage it, not to mention the whole of Youtube relies majoritively on the premise of ‘fair use’. Sight your legal sources.

          • No motive is needed to defend copyright, you can prosecute copyright infringement for any reason at all, or no reason if you so choose. You don’t have to prove intent to damage anything, I don’t know where you’re getting that from but that’s not how copyright works. The law is that you may not use someone else’s copyrighted material unless you either have their permission or qualify for an exemption, which lets plays are not.

            I’m happy to cite several sources for this:

            1. US Code Title 17, Copyright Law of the United States. See in particular section 106 for the exclusive rights granted by copyright, and 501 for the definition of infringement.

            2. Ryan Morrison (VideoGameAttorney), Robot Congress 46: Pewdiepie’s DMCA Dilemma:
            The legal answer here, we’re not even going to play teaser with, it’s pretty simple. […] There’s no dispute here, the law’s the law on this, there’s no grey area to even talk about. […] The easy answer here is yes, they’re allowed to DMCA Pewdiepie’s video.
            And since the licence is revocable, that means that they can revoke it at any point, and for any reason – including someone saying the N-word.

            Morrison goes on to say in the podcast that Lets Play videos aren’t fair use and never have been.

            3. Bryce Blum, attorney (ESG Law), in response to a question from PC Gamer:
            Publishers can revoke the license for any reason in their sole and absolute discretion, and there is nothing in the DMCA that requires consistent enforcement on the part of the IP holder. Arguing against a takedown request by saying other, similar content isn’t targeted is like telling a cop that you shouldn’t be busted for speeding because lots of people speed without getting a ticket.

            Do you need any more?

          • Yes, I understand they don’t need a motive to take it down, but he can challenge that – thats the whole point, theres two sides. Theres no grey area, but its black and white, he can fight it on grounds that he hasn’t damaged the brand – if he fought it. Again, they would have to prove that he did if thats the reason they are pulling it if he objected – because they said thats what he did. I don’t believe it would hold up. I’d also like to see what the contract says, does it specify anything? Can they prove intent? Sorry, but as long as he fights it, I’d think he’d win. Your also quoted a subject that ironically has no precedent !!! Who are you to say some quotes from people are the final verdict? It hasn’t been tested. I believe the word is ‘Touché’.

          • Copyright has nothing to do with damage to the brand and they don’t need a reason, valid or otherwise, to enforce their rights. If I steal your car it doesn’t matter if I didn’t damage it in the process, stealing it at all is illegal. You don’t need to give a reason for why you want your car back, it has nothing to do with the fact I stole it. Nobody needs to prove intent, stealing your car is illegal whether anyone ‘intended’ it or not.

            Of course he can challenge it, just like I can challenge you when you try to take me to court for stealing your car. The sole grounds on which he can challenge it is fair use. Not intent, not damage to the brand, only fair use. Several experts in the field (which I quoted) agree that the likelihood of Kjellberg successfully claiming fair use is negligible.

            You’re welcome to think he’d win if he fights it, but people with much better understanding of law than you are confident he’d lose. Just because this specific case hasn’t been tested doesn’t mean there isn’t a wealth of existing case law to extrapolate from.

            I was going to ignore the last part but it made me laugh. If you’re saying touché to me, it means you’re acknowledging that I got a good hit on you. It’s a fencing term, said by the person who just got hit as an acknowledgement to the person who scored the hit. The modern equivalent is “good shot”.

          • ‘Copyright has nothing to do with damage to the brand’. Of course it does if its contextual to that case, thats nonsense. Also, this is not stealing a car, I’ve ben involved in litigation regarding a logo being pulled off a business because it was a knock off and it was damaging another business. That was a copyright issue and revolved 100% around that premise. Again, your not seeing it as two sided argument, (key word, argument) and I stand by my comment, there is no precedent, and you don’t know if I’m studying law or not, you just said that with no evidence to the contrary. Until its tested, your not right, end of story.

          • @mikeyz Oh friend. It’s pretty obvious you’re not studying law, let’s not pretend. I can see you’re trying, but you really have no clue what you’re talking about and you’re really bad at bluffing.

            I linked US copyright law up above, as well as the unanimous opinions of three attorneys who work in the field of digital rights. Please have a read through USC 17 and quote anything in there you think contradicts anything I’ve said. Until you have something actually valuable to contribute, I’m going to leave you to dig your own hole.

          • Given that H3H3 won there case over a trailer, and them commenting on it, I feel like it set a precedent, not just for reaction videos, but to Lets Play vids as well, given that they are basically the same thing, with the only difference being that one is interactive. Due to the precedent set by the H3H3 case, I don’t think they have any legal anything to keep them in the right.

          • The h3h3 case involved small amounts of interwoven material and the court ruled it critical in nature (eg. a review). A Let’s Play is a different beast, using a lot more material than the h3h3 case, in continuous fashion, with usually minimal critical value.

            The circumstances of the two cases are very different. Ryan Morrison’s (VideoGameAttorney) law firm Morrison/Lee worked with h3h3 for the first part of their case, but on this matter he states in a recent podcast that Let’s Plays are almost never fair use and it would be very unlikely for a court to rule that it was.

          • No one’s arguing that what they did was illegal, just immoral or at least inappropriate. They’ve explicitly said that they’re doing it in response to PDP’s gaffe, not general protection of their IP which is what DMCA should be used for. How would you feel if a company DMCA’d a video because a Let’s Player supported gay marriage?

          • That comparison somewhat relies on the notion that support for gay marriage and support for racist commentary are ethically interchangeable, though. This isn’t a matter of not being able to put myself in dissenting shoes – I’d be disappointed if a video was taken down because the player supports gay marriage (which I also support), but I’d also be disappointed if a video was taken down because the player supports poorly justified foreign wars (which I strongly oppose).

            I generally hold a view of ethical relativism and respect that different upbringings and different cultures can consider the same act ethical or unethical. But there are limits of tolerance that even my own personal ethical code will not accept. Things like racism, sexism, normalisation of Nazism or religious terrorism, I have no problem with videos from creators who hold those views being taken down. Rather than being disappointed, I’d find that satisfying.

            (For the record, I know you don’t consider gay marriage and racist slurs ethically equivalent. I’m just explaining why I don’t think the comparison works.)

          • Actually the comparison is far more apt and what I was trying to get at earlier today – the entire purpose for the DMCA action wasn’t motivated by an actual desire to protect their copyright, but purely because they didn’t want to be associated with a person who uttered a racial slur. There’s absolutely zero difference between that and doing the same because someone supports gay marriage – except that one fits your personal ethics better than the other. Both are equally valid per the letter of the DMCA law – but both are done for reasons and motivations irrelevant to protecting copyright, and are instead done purely over personal ethics and what the rights holder found objectionable. Whether something is “ethically interchangeable” is completely irrelevant to the situation, and any attempt to introduce said question runs contrary to what you’ve been saying!

            Either the motivation is relevant and you agree that it’s open to abuse (and as such was abused here), or you continue to hold that motivation is irrelevant and thus have to let it stand divorced from ethics or comparative ethical standards – and thus using it to take down a LP vid because the gamer supports gay marriage is an acceptable use.

          • @soldant

            The question rammo123 posed was how I feel. That necessarily draws on personal elements like ethics, and the ethical element of my response was limited to that.

            The objective portion:

            Motivation is irrelevant as long as it’s not due to discrimination against a protected class. A company who has granted someone else access to their copyright is allowed to revoke it for any reason or no reason at all. That includes because they don’t like racist slurs, that includes because they don’t like support for gay marriage, that includes because they don’t like people with the letter W in their names. Except for protected classes, motivation has no bearing on whether a company is entitled to exercise their rights under the law.

            The ethical portion:

            The issue of ethical interchangeability was in relation to my feelings on the issue. In no ethical system I’m aware of (including my own) is support for the right to use discriminatory language considered as rightful as support for the right to marry regardless of sexual orientation. Those things exist at distinctly different levels of acceptability, and that renders the subjective purpose of the comparison untenable.

            To restate: regardless of whether I ethically support or oppose any given motivation, objectively that motivation is irrelevant. It is not a misuse or abuse of the law to revoke access and have content removed that relies on that access.

            Whether or not that motivation is ethically right or wrong is a separate, personal evaluation. I have no ethical problems with Campo Santo ending its licencing with Kjellberg over this incident.

        • It isn’t that cut and dried.
          They granted rights to stream the product and themselves stated that they financially benefited from that. They are then saying they don’t want to be associated with the other party so are saying they are in breach of copyright. However they have broadly granted that copyright.
          Requesting he remove videos of there games and stating that he has no rights to use any future games would have been a better option
          Part of the rights associated with copyright is the freedom to choose who you let use it and who you don’t which is true. But benefiting financially by granting those rights and then removing them after you have reaped all that benefit is a much greyer area.

          • The permission granted by the notice on their page is a revocable licence. They’re within their rights to revoke that licence at any time, for any reason (Ryan Morrison backs up this assertion in the podcast I linked above).

            I don’t see much of a grey area in terms of profit. Both Campo Santo and Pewdiepie profited from the videos, which are now a year old and generating negligible profit for either of them. Both benefited from the original video, both keep their profits, but it’s Campo Santo’s right to choose not to continue that licence in perpetuity.

      • What personal agenda though?
        They didn’t want to be associated with a racist profiting from their IP?

        I know there’s definitely a fine line with the legality of applying the DMCA [there’s even debates to be had about the DMCA being applied on a global internet]. But I don’t think this is where the battleground is.

        They haven’t even attempted to apply a DMCA takedown on any content, it was just one person making comments on twitter.

    • Eh? This isn’t even tangentially related to gamergate. This is just some portion of Felix’s rather uncontrollable, immature 57 million subscribers.

    • Pretty much agree with you Edenist. The vast majority of these people don’t give a shit about the issue, they just want a platform to spout trollish negativity. Doesn’t matter what the issue or who is the target, these people are obnoxious and pathetic.

    • I don’t know that I would call it misuse of the DCMA system. Copyright holders are well within their rights to stop people from using their content for monetization. PewDiePie wasn’t making any money from it, then it could be seen as a bit harsh on their part, but he does monetize his videos, and the law treats video games as audiovisual works whose corporate owners can limit their “public performance”, which includes internet streaming. If the developer doesn’t like the views he expresses in his videos, I think they’re well within their rights to stop him from being able to make money by showing their content.

      Nintendo are infamous for their takedowns, and personally, I think they often take it a little too far, but imagine for a second, that you were the owner of a clearly family and fun based company like them, and someone was using your content to push their views on Nazi-ism or how great the KKK is or something. That doesn’t really fit with the image of a fun, family oriented company, so you’d likely stop them from abusing your content.

      In this case, PDP didn’t make the offending comment on a video featuring the developers content, but he clearly has views that the developer doesn’t want associated with their game. PDP might be able to try and argue “fair use” in a court, but given the fact he actually makes money off these videos, I don’t think he would win. Might stand a better chance if he wasn’t making money off it, but even then I think it would be tough.
      Even Youtube’s help page states “Without the appropriate license from the publisher, use of video game or software user interface must be minimal.”. While the FAQ section of their website may say that they’re happy for people stream and monetize videos featuring their game, that’s not an exclusive licence to do so.
      Sean Vanaman (cofounder of Campo Santo) even said that “his stream is not commentary, it is ad growth for his brand”, which is precisely why I think they’ve taken issue with it. If it was just some nobody n00b streamer, it might have slipped under the radar, but PDP makes a LOT of money from his channel, and is watched by a ton of people, so I personally don’t think there’s anything wrong with what they did.

    • It’s not really abusing the DCMA system, if they don’t want their product associated with someone who has been involved with multiple racial based media stories now that’s their choice and their right. Encouraging others to do the same is a bit much I guess but it’s their choice what kind of people they want to be using and associated with their material.

  • ah internet whingers strike again.
    sometimes i long for the day escape from LA happens and Kurt Russel hits the EMP button, and people can go back to face to face conversations where they are held personally responsible for the things that come out of their mouths.

    • Not sure I’d go as far as an EMP, but people being accountable for the tripe that comes out of their mouth would be fantastic.

        • Still relevant Terry Pratchet quote on freedom.
          “You see, I believe in freedom, Mr. Lipwig. Not many people do, although they will, of course, protest otherwise. And no practical definition of freedom would be completely without the freedom to take the consequences. Indeed, it is the freedom upon which all the others are based.”

    • It has, but that was the plan after all.

      They have their eyes on the Australian elections next, whip everyone up in to a frenzy with the L vs R crap.

  • I see nothing wrong here.

    The dev has every right to blacklist a streamer and there is nothing wrong with these people showing their disdain for such actions.

    I actually think this is all very healthy freedom of expression.

      • What?

        Consumers are entitled to criticise products they paid for or the people who manufacture them.

        I feel like the word ‘entitlement’ is thrown around way to much these days, especially in the gaming community. If you don’t like the way they’re using the steam review system, say that. It has nothing to do with an inflated sense of entitlement.

        • Yeah, but saying things like ‘entitled!’ is just one of those great ways to try and silence or dismiss people you dislike or disagree with.

          That way you don’t have to come up with any sort of logical, reasoned argument to actually prove any sort of point… You can just run around screaming about their entitlement at the top of your lungs while blocking your ears.

          • Except the reviews have nothing to do with the quality of the game.
            These idiots are bombing the reviews section as a response to an entirely seperate issue.
            Entitled and infantile. Just like little kids who throw a tantrum when mum says they can’t have a toy.

          • I don’t disagree with you, probably because you actually elaborated on your point instead of just yelling “Entitlement!” as if it was a silver bullet.

        • It does though, the legalities around Let’s Plays aren’t defined, Campo Santo have every right to raise a DMCA if they believe the fair use laws are being abused by them. The review bombers are actively trying to punish the developers because they believe that they are entitled to Let’s Plays, regardless on whether they actually are. It’s especially bad because the reviews are using terms like “censorship” and “free speech”, things we are entitled to, when this case clearly has nothing to do with either.

          • No they are review bombing the game due to the developer deciding who can and can’t post content, even though the games page clearly said that anyone could.

            That aside though, at the point where they purchase the game they have every right to post a review taking into account every facet of the game itself, community and developer.

    • I don’t know that it’s really fair to take that particular route in showing their disdain for the actions, but I do agree that it’s healthy freedom of expression. I think they really should have limited their scathing comments to the discussion boards though. It’s not really fair of them to downvote the hell out of the game. It should only be judged on its own merits, not how the developer reacts to a particular situation. If the takedown was issued as a reaction to a scathing review of the game itself, fair enough. Perhaps even if the developer publicly expressed particularly racist views or something of a questionable/generally offinsive nature but this really has nothing to do with how good or bad Firewatch is, and I don’t think the review system should be abused in this kind of situation.
      I totally get it when it happens in cases like No Man’s Sky, where the game just doesn’t live up to expectations, or if a game just gets abandoned completely, but in this case, I think the expressions should be limited to discussion boards or forums of the developers site instead.

      • Don’t get me wrong, some of the reviews are very much childish and toxic, but they have every right to voice their distaste at what is essentially the dev deciding who can post media and also attempt to coerce other devs into doing the same.

        • I don’t think coercion is the word you mean there. Campo Santo didn’t threaten other developers to follow suit, they just invited them to.

          • Yeah poor choice of word, my bad.

            They still however are using a companies “moral obligation” to get what they want.

          • I don’t read their comments as instilling any kind of obligation, just that they’re drawing attention to the fact that rights holders do have options they might not realise they have if they’re unhappy with the way people like Kjellberg conduct themselves. Something along the lines of “hey, if you other devs also don’t like what this guy does, you should know that you don’t have to give him permission to use your stuff”.

            That’s just my understanding of their comments though, I appreciate that yours differ.

      • I think review bombing is basically throwing a tantrum, it hasn’t historically affected sales (with GTA5, sales actually went up during the review bombing). I also think they’re shitty reviews that anyone actually considering buying the product should dismiss outright. The game deserves to be reviewed by its own merits and the developer doesn’t deserve to be trashed in this manner.

        That said, they’re entitled to write whatever review they like as long as it isn’t otherwise illegal (defamation, slander, etc) and I wouldn’t want their ability to do so stopped. I have little to no respect for people who participate in review bombing (for any media) and I would love for people to exercise their own critical thinking instead of this kind of mob mentality, but I’m not holding my breath for that to happen any time soon.

        • Absolutely agree. People should be free to leave shitty reviews and voice their opinions on what they think of the devs, but, like you, I just don’t agree that they should be leaving negative reviews just because they don’t like what they did. They should be kept separate. Review bombing in cases like No Man’s Sky for instance, (although I haven’t played it myself) I think were entirely justified at the time given they didn’t deliver on the promises of what the game would be. I certainly don’t people to lose the freedom to do that if it’s justified.

          • While I do think NMS got review bombed, I do have to wonder how much of it was this type of mob bombing and how much was legitimate criticism. I know I wrote a fairly lengthy review for NMS (just under the max character cap) on why I thought it wasn’t worth purchasing, and I think a lot of reviews at the time were similarly genuine.

            At the very least, I don’t think NMS got the kind of ‘pure spite’ bombing that Firewatch seems to be getting right now.

          • Oh absolutely not, but then it is a different situation too. In the case of NMS, it was just that the game didn’t live up to the hype. Not quite the same kind of review bombing, but it did attract an aweful lot of negative reviews in a short space of time, except it was justified 😉 This kind of review bombing is just petty though. Their game isn’t the cause. If people disagree with their stance, then by all means leave comments, ask for a refund, whatever, but they shouldn’t abuse the negative rating. I can’t recall seeing anything that indicates a positive or negative vote is required to post a review, so if they can do it, they should do so without providing that statistic. Their thoughts will still get the same ‘front page’ visibility, but without messing up the stats.

    • The whole thing just demonstrates how vengeful people are over the internet. I don’t think it’s healthy at all. It’s just the beginning of the inevitable ramp up to death threats etc from people who are worried they might not be able to watch a full play through of a story driven game for free in the future..

      • I think its more than just a “story driven” game, it is a precident for companies being able to curtail who can and cannot post content. Now that may not sound all too bad when a person you dislike is the target, but if you think large publishers won’t exploit the three mark system to strike down channels that hand out unfavourable reviews, post videos of bugs or content that may compromise how the game is viewed.

        You should never just argue what is happening today, but what is also likely to happen going forward.

        • This isn’t about someone leaving negative reviews though. I’m pretty sure any dev who took that kind of action against someone just for saying their game was crap, would certainly cop some serious shit from the public. That would certainly be deemed as misuse of the DMCA system, and I’m certain people would let them know with their voice and wallets.
          I don’t see this as opening a can of worms for system abuse in the future. It’s simply a case of a company taking issue with a repeat offending douchebag, and deciding to punish them by saying ‘We don’t wish to be associated with you and your disagreeable views, so we will no longer allow you to make money off our work’.
          Companies have done this in the past in other industries in different ways, and nobody ever seems to have a real issue with it. Companies have stopped using suppliers because they found out they funded terrorist groups, or because they found out they were damaging the environment etc. Remember a little while ago, that a whole slew of companies pulled ads from Youtube because they didn’t want them showing up on hatespeech videos? All those companies that pulled their ads from Fox after Bill O’Reilly said some nasty shit? Pretty much all the same thing. I don’t think you’re going to see masses of takedowns from AAA or indie developers as a result of this. Basically, they’re sending a message of “Don’t be a douchebag, or we’ll pull support.”

  • I agree with those reviews, I won’t be purchasing the game at all. For a Dev to come out against PDP for something that didn’t impact their game, and then threaten DMCA, well that’s a big NO from me.

    • It does have the potential to impact their game, though. If I hear about this game Firewatch and want to know more about it, one of the first things I’ll do is punch it into YouTube. If one of the first videos that comes up is PewDiePie’s playthrough of it, and I go, “oh yeah, he’s that guy who dresses as a Nazi and uses the n word like it’s no big deal, you know what, I’d rather not buy a game that’s associated with someone like that”, then they lose both sales and trust in brand.

      How would you like to see companies be able to protect their IP?

      • I fail to see how you would reach that conclusion. Anyone is free to record themselves playing a game and uploading the footage on youtube. If you are basing your opinion on who is playing the game rather then the game itself or its substance I would argue you probably weren’t that interested in getting the game. It would be the same as saying I don’t like this person who reviewed this game from a certain website or gaining magazine hence I won’t purchase it. Makes little sense and your basis for buying games is very flawed.

        The dev used a system in place that was available to them, to voice their concern encouraged others to do so. Just the same way that steam users are using the steam review system to voice their concern and displeasure.

      • Once the company releases their game, they don’t need to protect their IP. It’s been released to the public.

        If GTA 6 is ever released, and a guy goes out and kills a bunch of people while wearing a rockstar shirt, it means nothing. Rockstar doesn’t need to come out and speak out about the guy.

        Just like if a movie star is caught saying a racial slur in public while wearing a Tom Ford suit. The actor is responsible for that. Tom Ford himself has no reason to speak out and distance himself from the actor.

        I just feel like the developer has done the wrong thing by throwing DMCA when there was never a problem before PDP reached 5 million views on the video. But only now because he says the N word, the dev is concerned. So does that mean the dev was fine with PDP joking about Nazi and Hitler? Because if that’s the case, why not speak up back then?

        • It’s not about the need to defend their product, it’s about who they choose to do business with.

          A Let’s Play video is a business collaboration between the developer and the video producer. The developer shares access to property they have exclusive rights over (the game’s audiovisual presentation) so that the producer can add their commentary and make money from the resulting work. Sometimes that’s a financial collaboration where the developer gets a cut of the profits made by the final work, but mostly the arrangement is free with the benefit to the developer only being increased exposure.

          That exposure can work both ways. It often helps increase sales, but it can also harm sales. It’s entirely at the discretion of the developer (as rights holder) whether they want to share access to their property through that collaboration, or to choose not to do business with a particular producer for whatever reason they choose.

          Nobody should be forced to do business with someone they don’t like. You’re free to choose who you do or don’t do business with, and the same extends to developers. In this case, ‘not doing business with Kjellberg’ means not sharing access to their copyrighted property with him. Without that permission, the video is no longer legal and has to be modified to remove the copyrighted material, or taken down. This is no different to when licenced music in a video game expires and the developer has to issue a patch to remove it from the game. It’s the copyright owner’s right to cease business if they choose.

          Your last paragraph seems to suggest Campo Santo’s actions were solely because of this most recent video, but their own statements say otherwise. This was the straw that broke the camel’s back, just the latest in a series of actions Kjellberg took that made the company want to distance itself from him. The Nazi jokes are undoubtedly part of that.

  • I find this ironic, felix didn’t the wrong thing for sure and there’s consequences to his actions, just like how Sean had a knee jerk reaction and threw in the DMCA claim threat. They both made money from those videos and now he’s not a fan. It’s already too late to change the past but he’s entitled to not do business with Felix in the future.

    But this is how the internet works, Pretty much who’s quickest to get offended and it’s a knee jerk reaction which ended with a knee jerk response.

  • I said this would happen in the last article about this. Vanaman’s actions will hurt only himself and his company.
    In the words of Vanaman’s own tweet: “Freedom of speech is freedom of prosecution”
    Congratulations. You played yourself.

    • I doubt this will hurt the company in any meaningful way. This is flash-in-the-pan mob mentality, Firewatch is 18 months past release deep into its sales tail, the review bombing has so far had no visible effect on ongoing sales, and the majority of people participating in this now will have long forgotten it by the time their next title is released.

      • I agree that in regards to Firewatch this will have barely any impact, but you cannot honestly believe that this will not hurt Campo Santo at all. They’ve been working on a new game since the start of 2016 IIRC, and I do fear that this fiasco will hurt sales, even if marginally.
        You only have to look at other examples such as AC:Syndicate’s poor sales after the AC:Unity shitstorm.

        • I’d be surprised if most of the mob involved here has the attention span to remember any of this even next month, let alone by the time Campo Santo’s next game comes out. The Unity controversy was at least over something actually in the game, this is entirely external.

  • So, since Campo Santo did the right thing, and called out a YouTube ‘personality’ for using a racist slur. All these idiots seems to think they need to attack Campo Santo, because they attacked their favorite YouTube ‘personality’ first.

    Racism should not be tolerated. It’s not in the work place.
    So since doing ‘let’s plays’ is basically Pewdiepie’s job. It’s important to keep him in line, if he wishes to keep his job. Seeing as there are morons out there who’ll try to imitate him.

    Plus, all these people going, “I’m not going to buy the game now”. Who gives a shit?
    The game is a brilliant example of first person narrative. Set in an eye catching stylized environment. With a thought provoking richness that comes from the choices you make.

    Yet if you’re a Pewdiepie fanatic. Then you’re probably only going to play it, because Pewdiepie told you to. While he made a dick joke, and yelled into his mic.

  • Well then i guess we know what Jim Fcking Sterling Son! is going to be talking about next week.. if he doesnt put out another Jimquision before hand

  • The review bombing Firewatch is experiencing reminds me of what happened with Kinda Funny and Colin Moriarty. He said a joke, people lost their shit. SJW got involved and he parted with KF on ‘friendly’ terms. KF videos were disliked and now they all don’t talk.

    I’m not comparing a joke Colin made (which my girlfriend and I thought was funny) to a racial slur. Just stating the resulting SJW and reviewing bombing is similar.

    And again, before anyone tries to imply I’m comparing racial slurs and jokes, READ THE SECOND PARAGRAPH. As is often the case, people sometimes skip over an entire comment and only look for the drama at the beginning.

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