Unknown Worlds has fired the sound designer at the company for making politically incorrect comments and cohorting with Infowars’ Paul Joseph Watson.
New Normative, a progressive gaming outlet, is reporting that the gaming forum ResetEra setup threads to witch hunt Unknown Worlds’ Polish sound designer, Simon Chylinski.
The threads were based on tweets that another progressive indie developer put together after scouring through Chylinski’s Twitter feed. The user screen-capped comments that Chylinski made that aligned with common Conservative viewpoints regarding third-world countries, immigration and feminism.
Lmao. This is the sound designer for subnautica.
Cool employees u got there. pic.twitter.com/ccNYWbg1GD
— dijon du jour (@dijon_dujour) February 3, 2018
ResetEra – the new forum that was made after the moderators and staff left NeoGaf following the sexual misconduct allegations levied at the owner and the child porn charges that surfaced for a former moderator – decided to witch hunt on Chylinski and pester the higher ups at Unknown Worlds until they finally fired Chylinski, which was confirmed in a thread by Ian Miles Cheong on Twitter.
it worked too. fired.. 🙁
— Si ☢ サイモン (@Sy1K1) February 5, 2018
But it didn’t stop there.
Unknown Worlds’ nautical survival game, Subnautica, is quite popular and has gained quite the following on Steam throughout its Early Access run. However, in accordance with getting the sound designer fired for his Conservative vies, Social Justice Warriors began spamming the Steam forums about wanting to play as a female character, and how they can’t play the game because they can’t identify with the current main character, even though you never see the character since it’s in first person.
LadyJayByrd, the level 0, private account for wrote…
“Where is the playable girl character? As a girl gamer personally I have been very much looking forward to the addition of the playable girl character since early in development when it was announced. I followed the development of the models for the girl character and everything seemed to be coming along great. It was my understanding that it was supposed to be part of the game before the full release but there still isn’t an option for it anywhere to be seen. I’m actually somewhat disappointed that it hasn’t been implemented yet. Playing as the guy character and hearing guy sounds and seeing the guy body when playing is very immersion breaking for me. Does anyone know when or if this will actually be implemented? Anyone know why it hasn’t been yet?”
As pointed out by the users, there are a flood of threads on the forums that are being locked because SJWs are spamming Unknown Worlds to force them to add a playable female character.
Spamming for a female character resulted in the lead designer and game director, Charlie Cleveland to submit himself and the game to the complaints of the Social Justice Warriors, tweeting that you won’t even be able to play as a male character in the next expansion for Subnautica, and the main character will only be female. No options, no choice at all.
To clear up some miscommunication – I REALLY wish we had made the main character female. We didn’t have time to address that in @Subnautica but I really want to fix that for the expansion (not by a selection screen but by making the player female).
— Charlie “Subnautica v1.0” Cleveland (@Flayra) February 3, 2018
Make no mistake about it, Cleveland isn’t doing this for story reasons or because they have some sort of design mechanism in mind to leverage a female as the player-character, Cleveland admits that they’re doing it for “representation” purposes, posting the following comment on Twitter.
It’s simply about representation. When you word it this way, it feels like you’re grouping women together with fictional or non-existent people.
— Charlie “Subnautica v1.0” Cleveland (@Flayra) February 3, 2018
Without even trying to cater to the Intersectional Inquisition, Subnautica had already gained more than 2 million in sales, according to Steam Spy, which is a lot more than most Early Access games or many other full game releases on Steam.
This isn’t the first time that Unknown Worlds has attempted to bend over backwards for Social Justice Warriors. Back in June of 2013 the developers made an extremely lengthy blog post decrying sexy female characters in games, where they write…
“The game industry has a history of depicting female characters inappropriately. Often, they are stylised to such a degree that they become sexual objects: While their male comrades are clothed, armed and armoured to fight, the female character is notable for the lack of any clothing at all. When female characters are granted equal protection, that protection often ignores basic laws of physics in favour of offering titillating form.
“This is not good enough, and it’s not a trope Unknown Worlds will entertain. Games are legitimate cultural influences, and game developers are responsible for the message they choose to convey to players. The Natural Selection 2 female marine is first and foremost, like her male colleague, a soldier. Her armour puts function before form, while adopting the science fiction, melee combat aligned design ques that have made the male marine so uniquely recognisable.”
They stated that they were adding female marines to Natural Selection 2 that would look and behave just like their male counterparts in hopes of bolstering representation of females in their game and positively influencing society in the process.
Funnily enough, they actually lost more players over time following that update than gained players. They used to average over 6,000 players between the release in 2012 and up until the end of 2013, but dwindled down to only several hundred players a day after the female update, and now they average around 300 players a day, according to Steam Charts.
Simply put, adding playable female characters to Natural Selection 2 did not increase player engagement.
It’s certainly not a good look to not only fire an employee for Conservative views but also to purposefully spite your own community by bending over for the SJWs to replace the playable character simply for “representation” purposes.
We’ll see how well this will work out for Unknown Worlds when the newest expansion for Subnautica goes live.
I did reach out to Charlie Cleveland for comment and will update the story if he chooses to respond. Meanwhile, some gamers have started a petition to get Simon Chylinski his job back via Change.org.
[Update:] Cleveland gave a statement to Kotaku, telling them that Chylinski was fired for “hateful” comments…
“Over the weekend we discovered that one of our team members had made many hateful statements online that are against our company values. After discussing the matter with him, we decided to stop working with him immediately.”