So I started browsing the kickstarter comment section and I found this post that seems to encapsulate a lot (not every) backers beef with the decision:
I just wanted to voice my disappointment in the way that you've handled the Jontron situation. I had backed this before I was ever aware he was a part of the project. I backed this because I believed in Playtonic and thought that this would be a good way to show my displeasure with the current environment in "AAA" gaming. By that I mean the big companies keep giving me the same warmed over, focus grouped trite and telling me that I don't know what I want. So I took my money and spent it on something different, yet familiar, in the hopes that Yooka-Laylee would be a success and maybe, even just a little, shake up the industry. As of a week ago it looked like everything was turning up roses. Then I learned that Jontron got the axe.
Before I go on I must state that Playtonic is well within their rights to make whatever changes to their game that they want. It's their game. I have no right to ask for a refund because i agreed to give them my money on a game sight unseen. They could've took the money and ran and I still wouldn't be able to get my money back because this is Kickstarter and that's the risk you take.
When I saw that Jontron got axed from Yooka-Laylee I was taken aback. I had actually forgotten that he was even a part of this. Then I read the headlines and saw "why" he was cut. If nothing else 2016 taught me to never again just read a headline and one source so I did my own digging into it.
I'm not even sure where to begin Playtonic.
Should it be where Jontron went and got railroaded by the "games journalists" because of a poorly done livestream he did on twitch? Should it be about the livestream that was more or less an attack on Jontron by the streamer Destiny (Destiny the streamer whom I can quote "How do I explain to my daughter incest is wrong. Is it actually wrong? I don't know. This is like -uh, this is a crazy f***king thing" so you know he's not about stirring up controversy at all)? Should it be that Jontron has better expressed himself in other streams before the Destiny one and there wasn't such a big hoopla abut them because he wasn't stumbling over himself? Should it be that Neogaf (NEOGAF! A FORUM! AN ECHOCHAMBER WITH NO REAL CLOUT OR CREDIBILITY!) decided that your game was racist because they believe that Jontron is racist and so they went on to pressure you into removing him, not because he hasn't expressed his opinions in the past but because now he's tripped up and flustered and they see an opportunity? Should it be that in your press release you say "Playtonic is a studio that celebrates diversity in all forms" while at the same time removing Jontron because his views did not conform to yours or to say better, he had a DIVERSE opinion? Should it be that, as best I can find, at no point does it seem like you even tried to contact Jontron to hear his side and evaluate the evidence yourself?
Your move Playtonic. Which of these badly handled landmines do you want to try step over first?
...I am angry. I am frustrated. I am saddened. Mostly though, I am disappointed in you Playtonic. It's not because Jontron got removed. It's partly how you've handled it. It's mainly because you caved into pressure from people with an agenda. Again, Jontron has stated his points and beliefs before the Destiny stream with much more grace, eloquence and backing facts AND YOU DID NOT CARE THEN. It wasn't until the poorly handled, by Jontron to be fair, Destiny stream that people saw chink in the armor to strike. It seems as if you willingly sold your artistic integrity for more potential sales. Now I know Jontron had minor role in the game but when you started to get the push you cut him. I have to wonder, had Jontron had a bigger role would you've cut him?
You brought him onto the project. Yes you brought him on because he's somewhat of a "big" name in the gaming community but also, and I have to imagine the main reason because why him and not someone else, he is a big fan the great N64 Rare games.
Jontron is a stand in for us: The fans.
If we have diverse views or opinions does that mean that we too will get removed in some way so that you can "make games that everyone can enjoy" and thus create an environment that "could make players feel anything but 100% comfortable in our game worlds". Are we expendable so you can move more units?
Playtonic, this truly breaks my heart writing all this. I just wanted to play a fun game. I wanted to have an updated mascot platformer to play and to one day play with my kids like I did when I was a kid. But like everything else in this day in age it has somehow been infected by social justice and you've shown me what side you're on. I don't even think that you care all that much about what the articles, news pieces and forums say about the great ambiguous specter of "racism", you just care that they complained and that made you look bad. And if you look bad, you'll sell less and that's the bottom line. I will grant you that you are well within your rights to protect and maximize your profits. I supported you because I somehow thought you would be different Playtonic. Again, I'm heart broken and gain no pleasure to write this but at this point you are no different from EA, Ubisoft, WB or any other part of the "AAA" environment that I so desperately wanted to escape.
Thank you for your time and for reading this."
Not everyone feels this way mind you, but most of the comments criticizing playtonic share this sentiment.