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Firewatch review-bombed following PewDiePie racism incident

Smothering the flames.

Indie adventure Firewatch is being review-bombed on Steam after the game's developer, Campo Santo, filed a DMCA against YouTuber PewDiePie.

Last week Felix "PewDiePie" Kjellberg, owner of the most subscribed-to channel on YouTube, came under fire for using the N-word on during a PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds stream. He said: "What a f***ing n*****! Geez! Oh my god! What the f***? Sorry, but what the f***?"

This was the final straw for Firewatch developer Sean Vanaman, co-founder of Campo Santo, who denounced PewDiePie on Twitter and stated Campo Santo would file a DMCA takedown of PewDiePie's Firewatch content.

Pewdiepie's Firewatch Let's Play is no longer available to view on YouTube and the popular streamer has since apologised - but his supporters aren't happy with Campo Santo, as is evident from Firewatch's Steam page.

Firewatch has an 84 per cent overall positivity score on Steam but in the last 30 days only 45 per cent of reviews have been positive. The majority of recent 'not recommended' comments refer to the PewDiePie incident.

You can see in the graph below (via SteamSpy) the negative reviews increase drastically after the date of Vanaman's tweet.

steam

Image credit SteamSpy

One Steam user said, "Game is short, linear, and although can be enjoyable experience, the ending is lacking and unsatisfying, and the developers abuse DMCA laws to penalise let's players they dislike for personal reasons." Another user said "I don't support the abuse of copyright law to censor things". Other comments include calling Sean Vanaman a "butthurt SJW crybaby looking to be offended", referring to the developers as "childish" and saying Vanaman should kill himself.

This isn't the first instance of fans trashing a game on Steam, irrespective of its gameplay. Football Manager 2017 was Steam-bombed when it didn't include an official Chinese translation. GTA 5 also received a barrage of negative reviews when developer Take-Two removed modding tool OpenIV.

Eurogamer has contacted Campo Santo for comment.

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