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Firewatch bombarded with negative reviews after PewDiePie controversy

Following PewDiePie’s latest controversy, Firewatch developer Campo Santo began to distance itself from the entertainer by filing a DMCA takedown notice to all of his content regarding the game. The takedown notice resulted in all Firewatch content disappearing from the YouTube star’s channel, which has prompted those against the developer’s actions to begin an ongoing review-bombing campaign on Steam.

Review-bombing is a relatively new practice that we’ve seen actively influence the decisions that developers make. One of the first instances was Skyrim being bombarded with negative reviews on Steam after Valve tried to roll out paid mods for the game. This resulted in Valve promptly discontinuing paid mods despite wanting to bring them back.

The same thing happened with Grand Theft Auto V when Take-Two opted to shut down the popular OpenIV mod tool and Nier: Automata releasing in Asia without Chinese language support before raising prices in the country. It’s safe to say that since this happened, OpenIV is back and the price quickly adjusted back to what it was for Nier.

In the case of Firewatch, things are a little different as the game has already been released for over a year and many people have finished with it and moved on. These are political statements in the name of free speech and fair use that have little impact on the financial success of the game, unlike previous review-bombing attempts.

PewDiePie has since issued an apology and head of Campo Santo Sean Vanaman shortly followed, expressing “regret” to Buzzfeed over his use of a takedown notice, despite the action being within the studio’s right. “Censorship is not the best thing for speech and if I had a way to contact PewDiePie and take the video down, I probably would.”

KitGuru Says: Review-bombing is certainly an effective tactic to be heard nowadays, so it will be interesting to see where this leads Campo Santo in the future. What are your thoughts on the whole situation?

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  • Rocky40

    This is just a company that over reacted but then again it seems this is the trend now days with everything. You can hardly say or do anything without possibly offending someone.

  • mazty

    What is it with PewDiePie having such an obsessive group of followers? Kids who watch some idiot make noises while playing games they could actually be playing, and then defend his racist outburst. We need to introduce an internet license to stop people like his fans being able to go online.

  • Paul

    I think following “youtubers” like Pew (or anyone that is just playing video games) stupidity. However people aren’t doing this to defend racism. If that’s the simplistic way you see this you are just part of the problem

  • Goldminer

    PewDiePiePower

  • Mace ya face

    Kids defending a racist. Great.

  • mazty

    I think the problem is when racial slurs become part of someones day-to-day vocabulary, not that publishers have the right not to be associated with such people.

  • mazty

    Surely the problem is that the guy used a racial slur effortlessly? It takes a special level of naivety, or arrogance, to think that what was said is something that should be casually brushed aside.

  • Matthew Longden

    This is how the Internet works…. You really think pewdiepie became so popular due to being politically correct lol??

  • Mace ya face

    No. I think he became popular for screaming at horror games on camera. Not being racist on Twitch.

  • Rocky40

    I am still going to say the world as we know it today pretty much over reacts to every little thing that someone does or says if they do not agree with what was done or said.

    I hate racism but I also know when someone is being racist towards others. Something said just off the cuff may not be 100% correct and may offend some people but we all have to be smart enough and strong enough to handle it. This company and so many people are basically got this guy marked as a racist for something he said in the heat of the moment.

    We all say things in those same moments sometimes but that does not make us all racists it just makes us human & as humans we all make mistakes no one is perfect. Cut the guy some slack for crap sake’s I am sure he knows he made a mistake by now. I do not think it should be something that ruins a person life.

  • mazty

    It’s an inherently racist term. There is no such thing as using a racial slur in a nonracist manner.

    Why should I cut him slack? He’s a millionaire whose job is to live stream playing games. If anyone should be professional about it, it’s him, and so he deserves no slack at all….

  • Simona Draksaite

    you have no right to control who uses your products. On top of that you don’t have a right to fill a copyright claim with no copyright being violated. They could be sued into non existence right now.

  • Simona Draksaite

    People defending legal rights are not exactly defending Pew. These developers issued a false copyright claim which is ILLEGAL. Pew could honestly kill their whole company by suing into the floor. I do not support illegal activity.

  • mazty

    That’s hilariously naive bull:
    So banks can’t stop criminal transactions
    Glock have no right to prevent criminals possessing their guns
    Airlines can’t control who boards their planes

    If a company doesn’t want someone using their product for commercial gain, that’s entirely acceptable. The PDP army seems to be all screaming, no thinking!

    You talk about suing yet clearly haven’t a clue as to how T&Cs or business works. GG bro, qq some more, you PDP kids r so salty.

  • Simona Draksaite

    you should read up on this actually. There has been quite a few lawsuits won over false DMCA’s already.

    All you’re showing is your lack of knowledge om this topic.

  • mazty

    Actually showing the entire content of a game could very easily fall under a DMCA claim, and has done so in the past.

  • Simona Draksaite

    Konami tried to copyright both image and sound of their games and yet they still failed the copyright battle. As games are not movies, you can copyright the spread of games, meaning that people are not allowed to share the game itself, however you can not copyright gameplay.

  • Rocky40

    Yes it is a racist term but as I said everyone has most likely said it or worse in their own lives. Anyone that says they have not is out right lying about it. People make mistakes it does not matter if they are rich or poor we are all human and as such make mistakes.

  • Profilul Lui Mihai

    I think you are fixed on this, like big mammas in the airports when see words “fat ass” on the boards and take it on theirselves. You know only this word “rasist” and you think that you are right, but thats absesive and more agressive than pewds attitude. And i am not agree with the point that pewds content is only for kids – i am 24 and i found a lot of constructive information and natural behavior. I repspect pewds becouse he seems to be a wise young man. He has money , a lot of them but becouse of it he has a lot of problems too. Sad that america,s people are so fixed on rasism when they nation daily kills thousands of people abroad and sucks the vitality from other continents – shame on you.

  • Outer Butcher

    You’re wrong, Simona. It is in the right of the developer to claim back his game from the person’s channel if they don’t like something.

  • mazty

    *racist

    Don’t you think it’s a problem when using racial slurs falls under “natural behaviour”?

  • mazty

    “other people do it, so it’s fine”
    So then is murder, peadophilia and rape? No, so you’re just drawing an arbitrary line between what is acceptable and what isn’t based on the actions of others.

  • mazty

    You could however if it’s demonstrated that the gameplay is used as a commercial income.

  • Profilul Lui Mihai

    I dont think that racism is a inherent part of natural behavior – if i understood you correctly, i mean that felix behavior is simple, it is not something that can be called “fake” or created just to impress. And belive me in my country exists the real racism and i can destinguish this phenomenom.

  • mazty

    Isn’t that more of a problem if his “natural” behaviour is to use racial slurs?

  • Profilul Lui Mihai

    Isn’t a problem the fact that your mind is fixed on this slurs and is full of them? Isn’t a problem the fact that you repet this word for countless times and you can’t see nothing in a entire activity of one man but his misunderstood joke or even a mistake?

  • mazty

    Avoiding the question like a pro 10/10, don’t be salty and answer the question m8

  • Rocky40

    You totally are missing the point but what ever. He did not commit murder or rape or anything else so drastic all he did was say something in the heat of the moment like we all have done our selves. The problem is he has some status so everyone wants to make an example out of him because of his status. If tom,dick or harry said the same thing as common joe’s no one would have said a thing even if they said it in a public forum because no one would have really cared very much.

    But here we have a guy that has pretty big status so of coarse everyone will jump down his throat and call him a racist because it helps with their own agenda’s. I do not condone racism it is a really very shitty when people act like that and those people should be brought into the lime light to shame them for that. This guy is already in the lime light because of his status so half the work is already done all they have to do now is shame him for something he said in the heat of the moment.

    These same people do not stop and think how it will effect someones life when they mark a person like this and how it effects their ability to make money to pay the bills all they think about is hey this guy is famous lets make a big deal out of this so we can serve our own agenda here.

  • Profilul Lui Mihai

    I can’t accept a question with a hidden sugestion or accusation in racism and if you ask me if i am against “black” humour or against jokes on tabboo subjects I will tell you that i admit something like that and I think that this is like common sense or natural behavior if you like.

  • mazty

    Nah m8 you’re bending the argument to suit your twisted thinking. You can’t have a utilitarian approach to some things, but not all, defined by some arbitrary standard you’re setting.

  • mazty

    lolwat
    Using an inherently racist term is racist. If you’re a professional, you shouldn’t do it. Simple.

  • Rocky40

    LOL twisted thinking? it is called common sense thinking as in you can not condemn someone for something like this that happened in the heat of the moment. Anyone with common sense should be saying the same thing about all of this.

    Should he have said it of coarse not is he sorry well only he knows that answer but I would hope he is sorry. I am sorry but this new brave world we have to live in is so full of tender hearts now days that you can’t even spit on the sidewalk without someone getting offended by it.

    I could go on and on but at this point I just don’t give a shit about it much any more it is now old news. He said he was sorry and it was a mistake that is good enough for me and pretty much 90% of the rest of the world that knows about it case closed time to move on & talk about some real world problems that actually matter in the here and now not about someone that said a bad word by mistake.

    This whole thing was stupid from the beginning. It was media websites and the company that blew out way out of shape and people like you & I talking about it all over the internet. It is time to let the guy live his life and I am sure he will make other mistakes in the future that we all can chat about as well…lol

  • Profilul Lui Mihai

    Kids game, yeah? Ultimately it’s your point of view, but it has more similarities with a kind of dictatorship than with freedom of speech – trespassers should be burn down.

  • mazty

    Kids game? And business reacting negatively to someone using well-established racial slurs is hardly a dictatorship. Good attempt to both water-down the incident and then use a hyperbole.

  • mazty

    The problem is you clearly think it’s normal for someone to blurt out racial slurs. It’s not, but clearly you’ve been raised in a trashy environment where racist language is deemed normal “in the heat of the moment”. Let’s see what happens if you blurt that out in an office 😉

  • Profilul Lui Mihai

    Serious? Hyperbole? You are the one here that hyperbolyze the meaning of the few words… Doing here a greater tragedy than in Hamlet… Water-down? But wait! Look here! Your words : ” using an inherently racist term is racist” like using an inherenly scientist term is scientist, using an inherently lawer term is lawer, using an inherently medicine term is doctor… That’s how it workS? Come on! Do you think I need to water-down here? Sorry mate, but just I share my impression about your statements.

  • Rocky40

    WoW what a load of horse crap. You are now going to try to assume how I was brought up that is pretty fricking funny. I was brought up to respect others and not to be racist towards my fellow man.

    Like I said before it has happened to everyone and if you say it never happened to you then you are straight up lying about that.
    Shit happens and it happens to all off us at one time or another it is part of being in the human race.

  • mazty

    Please tell me how the racial slur he used isn’t a racial slur…

    I think the problem here is your grasp of the English language is crap.

  • mazty

    If you were brought up to respect others, then how can you think it’s even remotely acceptable to blurt out a deeply racist word when frustrated? That is not normal behaviour. It has not happened to everyone, that’s your sad attempt at normalising racist behaviour.

  • tenshi7angel

    Saying that one word, doesn’t make you a racist. It’s not as simple as that. Didn’t anybody learn from IdubbbzTV?

  • tenshi7angel

    Actually they gave out a license agreement with their site, that you have the permission to let’s play. There were no exceptions. The thing is, they were not taking the video down for copyright, they were doing it for political reasons. It’s a grey area for let’s plays. But the thing is, their website says “yes”. Just saying “it doesn’t matter, let’s plays are still not fair use” doesn’t work when there is a license given from their website. You can’t go back and revoke it.

  • Mace ya face

    Using it as a reactionary insult towards a player, and later describing it as, ” it slipped out”, shows how internalised it is.

    And I like most of IdubbzTV’s stuff. But he is the last guy on Earth I’m going to for lesson on social interaction and socio-politics. I’d rather speak to one of the literally multiple people I know who have degrees in Criminology/Psychology, including my own mother, than ask him about it.

  • Karl Sagen

    You know that internalized racism is leftard newspeak bullshit right? Unless you believe that people with different from you skin color are lesser than you you’re not racist. Period.

  • Cameron Thompson

    He can because at the time Pewdiepie was a paying customer, and Firewatch EXPLICITLY said on it’s website it encourages monetized streaming. Pewd had the license to do just that. Future videos he can’t but he was covered for that video. Try again

  • Chuck

    A company acting as morality police and issuing a DMCA for conduct in a video not related to their game is a far far bigger issue and threat than someone using racial slurs.

  • Mace ya face

    “leftard newspeak bullshit”

    Thanks for giving away your biases. Internalised in the context provided refers to the fact that he lives in a society largely bereft of open racism. Therefore the racial outburst is not due to constant exposure, but the result of his own personality and understanding. Again, therefore, internalised.

    “that people with different from you skin color”, “than you you’re not racist.”

    I do think I’m better than you though. Unless English is your second language. At which point your out-of-touch and childish eagle picture and fake “Karl Sagen” name are doubly pathetic.

  • mazty

    They didn’t issue a DMCA for that video; they did for all his videos involving Firewatch.

  • Rocky40

    I see you just miss the whole point here. Yes it does happen from time to time to people in the heat of the moment every has done it and anyone that says oh but I have never did that has either walked around with duck tape stuck over their mouth or is a mute and can not speak at all or are just flat out lying to themselves and everyone else. Racist behavior is one thing and should not be excepted in society but when something like this happens in the heat of the moment does not make one a racist it does make them human.

    Anyways I am done with this conversation I think.

  • mazty

    Not everyone has done it. Once you accept this fact, then you’ll see why it’s subtle everyday racism.

  • MEMO WATL BRAIN (GSM)

    but the firewatch team wrote on their page that they “ALLOW AND ENCOURAGE” the free use and monetization of ther videogame by streamers

  • Rocky40

    We can agree to disagree on that. There is no one in this vast world that has never ever said something that could be considered racist about someone else or blurted out something they did not mean in their entire life time in the heat of the moment. If there is someone in this world that has be able to do this then they would be considered 100% perfect and there is no one in this world that is perfect so yea…lol

  • mazty

    You live in a fucked up world if you think people commonly shout racial slurs when frustrated. You’re just excusing everyday racism, and so you’re part of the problem as to why racism still is an issue.

  • mazty

    They’re allowed to add caveats to that, such as “don’t be a racist”.

  • MEMO WATL BRAIN (GSM)

    what pewdipie did was stupid and i would like to see him correctly punished for that (sadly its not going to happen, he is too famous and has an army of followers) but the firewatch team cant modify the terms and prosecute someone for events before that change, if they win they are setting a precedent for any company to modify their policies just to affect people retroactively, that allows publishers tu file DMCAS to anyone who criticises their games, what im trying to say is: “they did something bad, for a good cause”

  • MEMO WATL BRAIN (GSM)

    sorry for my bad typing i have big fingers and a small phone

  • mazty

    They’re not prosecuting anyone, that’s not what a DMCA is.

  • James Allen

    The reaction his followers had was very unnecessary and really doesn’t help pewdiepie look any better.

  • MEMO WATL BRAIN (GSM)

    sorry english is not my native languaje, i dont think i know the word for this case, still, my point was that they did something bad for a good cause, the correct way to do this was to send some kind of notice or ultimatum to pewdie, to stop doing streaming not attacking him (or whichever words better explains this) for the content he has already done. which he did because of those therms on the game page that said that anyone could use the game and profit from that

  • Rocky40

    OMG & LMFAO You totally skate right by the whole point. Let me say it again. There is no one in this world who has never ever said something they did not mean or wish they could take back because it was wrong. Only people that live in a little bubble world have never said something that offends someone else or said something a bit racist even if they were just joking around or if it was in the heat of the moment.

    I am not defending racism in any way my whole point was and still is there is no one out there whether they are a kid or a full grown adult who has never said something they should have not said. Whether it is right or wrong is not the issue here. Should have PewDiePie said it nope did he say he was sorry yep. Will he do it ever again I guess time will tell. Does that make him a racist? Only he knows that.

  • mazty

    You’re now changing your argument from “everyone occasionally uses racial slurs” to “people make mistakes”.

    You’ve finally ended up earlier warping your argument into something sensible. Congratulations.

  • Rocky40

    I think you will find that ion pretty much every post on this I have been repeating that everyone makes mistakes as we are only human. Whether it’s a flat out racial slur said in the heat of the moment or pretty much anything related. I do not condone racism we are all created to live on this planet as a human race. My intent was not to say racism was a good thing as it is not. I may have just worded it all wrong my mistake I am after only human as well…