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Role Ending Misdemeanor / Video Games

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  • Billy Zane, the original English voice actor of Ansem from Kingdom Hearts series, was replaced by Richard Epcar due to Disney dropping him from the project because he starred in the Turkish action film Valley of the Wolves: Iraq. Said film was criticized for its depiction of American soldiers in Iraq and was called "anti-American propaganda" by many critics. Zane and the other American actors involved faced heavy backlash for appearing in that movie. Zane's performance was kept for the HD 1.5 Remix remaster, however, most likely due to the convenience of simply reusing voice lines from earlier installments. The fact that the film in question was old enough for many to have forgotten about it by the time 1.5 was made probably helped as well.
  • Two Yakuza voice actors fell victim to this trope towards the end of The New '10s:
    • Hiroki Narimiya, the original voice of Masayoshi Tanimura from Yakuza 4, was accused of cocaine abuse in 2016, and while the tech base at the time (2010) didn't allow for his parts to be replaced, Narimiya was dropped from the studio's list of collaborators like a hot potato, and the character of Tanimura quickly written out of the then-under-development Yakuza 5. Narimiya was eventually tried and cleared of all charges, at which point he was offered to return. He responded that he had no interest whatsoever in working with or for people who damn well knew he was innocent, but threw him under the bus for the sake of expedience anyway. The whole affair left Narimiya disillusioned with both the video game and acting businesses, and he retired permanently a few years later.
    • Japanese actor Pierre Taki was arrested on cocaine charges in March 2019, and due to his involvement in Judgment, the game was pulled from stores and Sega deleted all tweets related to it even though the game had been released in Japan three months prior to this. It wouldn't be for over a week until Sega would confirm that the game was being redone to replace the model and voice of Taki's character.
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  • The computer game Paranautical Activity was pulled from Steam on October 20, 2014, when its creator Mike Maulbeck saw the announcement of its completed release still had the "Early Access" banner, and responded by venting about Steam on his Twitter account—which culminated in threatening to kill Valve Software CEO Gabe Newell. Maulbeck soon apologized for this and resigned from his studio, Code Avarice, in an attempt to restore goodwill between it and Valve, although he has since been rehired.
  • As a result of suing users, including videogame pundit Jim Sterling, for libel over negative reviews on Steam (see Frivolous Lawsuit for more), Valve had the Romine brothers' company Digital Homicide's titles removed completely from the service and refuses to allow other titles by the developers on their platform. While the publisher has attempted to rebrand itself under a number of pseudonyms (namely, LootToot Games), they have still been stuck peddling DRM-free copies of their games on smaller distribution platforms, with nowhere near the reach they once had.
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  • The voice-overs Jon Jafari recorded for Yooka-Laylee were removed from the final game after numerous Twitter users demanded Playtonic remove him from the game after Jon expressed nativist and xenophobic views on Twitter, followed up by a particularly disastrous stream in the spring of 2017 where he tried to debate his political opinions in response to the tweets. He ended up doing a stream later where he explained that most of his beliefs at the time were misinformed and that he was not ready to debate things he didn't understand, and had ended up resorting to using far-right talking points as a result.
  • In late January 2018, Todd Rogers, legendary for his 1982 5.51-second speedrun on the Atari 2600's Dragster, at the time the oldest standing video game record recorded by the agency Twin Galaxies, was banned from ever submitting scores again to their leaderboards. All of his records were wiped after his Dragster record was proven with computer analysis to be physically impossible, and shortly after Twin Galaxies learned he used a referee who was a personal friend of his to enter other impossible records onto the leaderboards for over 30 years.note 
  • A few months after the Dragster fiasco went down, Billy Mitchell of The King of Kong fame had his records stricken from Twin Galaxies when it was determined that many of these records were achieved with modified hardware or using the MAME emulator,note  including the Donkey Kong record shown in the film. The entire documentary was rendered an Unintentional Period Piece with his challenger, Steve Wiebe, officially recognized as the first player to score over a million points. Mitchell was also punished by the Guinness World Records, who stripped him of his entry for achieving the first-ever perfect score in Pac-Man in 1999. At first, he still had a few records, but in late 2020, the new owner of Twin Galaxies sued him on the basis that all records he submitted were faked, completing his fall.
  • The song "Subhuman", composed by Cody Matthew Johnson and featuring Suicide Silence was intended to be Dante's battle theme in Devil May Cry 5. However, reports surfaced that lead singer Eddie Hermida had engaged in a emotionally manipulative and sexually inappropriate relationship with an underage fan. The resulting PR kerfuffle caused Capcom themselves to delete the song's music video from YouTube and edit out all instances of the song from new trailers and even uploading an older one with the song removed. They later announced that they did not know about the scandal until after Subhuman had been completed, and in no uncertain terms would be distancing themselves from the collaboration. Ultimately, the song was kept but re-recorded with new vocals from former Volumes vocalist Michael Barr.
  • Nintendo editor Filip Miucin managed to snag a reviewing job at IGN but was fired only after making one review after it was discovered that his Dead Cells review was an almost word-for-word and beat-for-beat copy of another review by an independent YouTuber named Boomstick Gaming. In response to criticism, Filip claimed innocence, offering his old reviews as proof that he was capable of creating original work, and challenged anyone to try finding anything plagiarized in his work history. His defence collapsed when people took him up on his offer and discovered that most of his previous work was plagiarized as well, this time from other professional review sites and random Internet forums (one instance from another IGN reviewer before he was hired onto the same company). IGN promptly removed his work from their website, and had to redo any review he was involved in. Filip attempted to become a YouTuber, but while he managed to get some amount of a following, he has only a small base at best.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog fangame Sonic World nearly suffered a work-ending misdemeanor in October 2018, when the leader of the development team, Ozcrash, was rumored to have committed "illegal acts", which is alleged to be related to rapenote . The team was completely outraged by this, to the point they shut down the site to disassociate themselves from Ozcrash. Eventually they restored the site and resumed development, still keeping distance away from Ozcrash. Ozcrash, meanwhile, blanked his website, YouTube channel, denied the allegations, and withdrew from public, before returning online two years later to announce his lawsuit for defamation.
    (site's "About Us" page) It is also required to give credit for Ozcrash’s work on this game; however we do not associate with him in any way nor do we agree or condone anything that Ozcrash did involving the contents of ""
  • In Minecraft, while at that point the "role" in question was merely the logo "Made by Notch"note  that appeared when starting up the game, Microsoft released an update in early 2019 that removed said text from the game (Notch is still listed in the credits, however). While no reason for this was given at the time, many saw it as Microsoft distancing themselves from Notch's increasingly controversial public profile brought on by his tweets expressing support for conspiracy theories and/or bigotry. Microsoft confirmed this and took it even further later that year when they declined to invite Notch to their 10 year anniversary celebration for Minecraft, citing his controversial statements as the reason why.
  • Super Smash Bros.:
    • Former professional player Zack "CaptainZack" Lauth has been the focal point of numerous controversies within the competitive Super Smash Bros. scene:
      • In 2019, professional player Elliot "Ally" Carroza announced that he would retire from competitive gaming after he admitted to having an affair with Lauth, who had been underage at the time of the relationship. Shortly after this announcement, several major tournament organizations reinforced his self-imposed retirement with a lifetime ban.
      • Lauth later admitted to having not only pressured Carroza into the relationship, but also blackmailed him into throwing sets at 2GG: Prime Saga and Momocon 2019. As a result, Lauth's sponsor dropped him, and 2GG would permanently ban him from attending their tournaments. Lauth has not competed since, his last tournament being EVO in August 2019.
      • Ultimately, in late October 2020, Lauth would be permanently banned from his local scene in Louisiana due to his rape of fellow player Nairo, which is elaborated on in the latter's section below.
    • Things get very complicated when it comes to the case of Nairoby "Nairo" Quezada, a long-standing top player who had been active ever since Brawl. While Quezada himself was ultimately cleared of wrongdoing, his hasty admission led to him suffering consequences, and several others were banned in the ensuing fallout:
      • On July 1st, 2020, Quezada was accused by the above-mentioned Lauth of engaging in sexual intercourse with him at the age of 15 while Quezada was 20, and that Quezada had paid him to keep quiet about it. This came out around the same time as dozens of sexual abuse allegations against people within the competitive Smash community, many of which involved minors. Quezada would later seemingly admit to the act on Twitter. Afterwards, many other high-profile players condemned and severed ties with him, he was banned from Twitch, and he was let go from NRG Esports. In response, Nintendo of America themselves marked a documentary note  that featured him from their YouTube channel as private. With a majority of the community turned against him, it seemed unlikely that he would ever return to the competitive scene.
      • Things took a turn for the bizarre in mid-September 2020, however, when former top player Tamim "Mistake" Omary, one of Lauth's closest friends, released a statement that not only alleged that Lauth had taken advantage of Quezada while the latter was asleep, but that Lauth's claim that Quezada had bribed him was completely false. In response, Lauth would confirm that he had lied about the bribes, but remained mum on the first charge. Soon after, in late October 2020, Quezada himself would release his own statement recanting his previous admission, which corroborated with Omary's version of events. After Quezada's statement, Lauth would be permanently banned from his local scene in Louisiana as mentioned above. Going even further down the Bizarre Bypass, Quezada released a video statement in February 2021 appearing to quash Lauth's allegations, stating that he and Lauth had reached a legal agreement. While the majority of the Smash community reacted with approval and issued apologies for their hasty reactions, Twitch and NRG Esports have shown no interest in taking him back. As of April 2021, Quezada has returned to streaming, albeit on YouTube. However, his career as a competitor is effectively done because of his Twitch ban, due to their rules about featuring banned streamers on the platform note .
      • Saleem "Salem" Young, another top-level Ultimate player, was implicated in the Nairo/Zack situation as through Zack's statement, the community discovered that Young had encouraged Lauth to proceed with sexual contact. Young released a statement defending himself that was met by criticism due to its lack of focus, before later releasing another, more clear statement where he claimed ignorance of Quezada's age at the time. Ultimately, Young would be banned for his complicity in March 2021.
      • Ezra "Samsora" Morris, the second-best Ultimate player in the world at the time, was accused by Omary in the latter's statement of conspiring with Lauth to bring down Nairo out of jealousy. Though Samsora would deny the allegations, Salem's second statement contained a message of Samsora attempting to conceal information about his involvement in the Nairo/Zack situation. Samsora would eventually be banned in early April 2021.
    • The Western Smash Bros. competitive community was hit hard with several allegations and bans from late June and continuing throughout early July of that same year. During that period, many Smash players and commentators of varying popularity were hit with allegations of having perpetrated many vile acts over many years, ranging from bullying, sexual assault, pedophilia, to even rape. Aside from Nairo (who ultimately got his name cleared), other well-known figures accused were D'Ron 'D1' Maingrette, a very popular commentator who is often credited with helping the Smash community grow in its early years, Gonzalo "ZeRo" Barrios, arguably the best pro player of Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U and a popular content creator in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, and Cinnamon "Cinnpie" Dunson, a popular cosplayer, commentator, and rising Smash community star. These people, among many others, lost their sponsorships and were banned from attending future major Smash events, and the reputation of the Western Smash Bros. community was irreparably tarnished for many.
  • After Chris Niosi publicly violated his non-disclosure agreement by announcing his involvement as the voice of male Byleth in Fire Emblem: Three Houses only six days before Nintendo gave him permission to do so, the role was recast with Zach Aguilar; the news coincided with Niosi's public apology for his abusive behavior towards some of his fellow colleagues and fans. When Byleth appeared as a DLC character in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate in January 2020, Aguilar's voice lines were also included in that game instead of Niosi's, making it the first instance of Aguilar being the initial voice of male Byleth in any game.
  • Back in the mid 2000's, one of the most popular speedrunners was "TSA". He was most well known for his runs of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time and how he dominated the leader boards for over half a decade. But in 2011, it was discovered that many of his runs were achieved through the use of splices.note  During his runs, there are moments where the music blatantly jumps forward for no real reason. After these revelations, TSA had all of his runs removed from Speed Demos Archive and has officially been disowned by the The Legend of Zelda community.
  • Professional Call of Duty player Carl Riemer was fired by his team and suspended from Twitch after accidentally firing a gun during a livestream after he'd been messing around with it for a few seconds. Careful examination of the video reveals he ejected the round in the chamber, but didn't eject the magazine until afterward, meaning another bullet was automatically inserted. He immediately took full responsibility for the incident and urged all his followers to learn from his example of how quickly lives can be destroyed by reckless gun usage.
  • The Street Fighter gaming community was hit with five controversies within the course of one year:
    • Professional player Dalauan "Low Tier God" Sparrow was already widely hated by the fighting game community for being a "fraud" who regularly engaged in online ragequits, along with his extremely rude, obnoxious, and mean-spirited trash talk, horrendous sportsmanship, Hair-Trigger Temper and constant beefs where he was in the wrong, and long-winded Boomerang Bigot rants about other black people despite being black himself, but he had done nothing ban-worthy and thus kept turning up to tournaments and events like a bad penny. This changed in April of 2020, when he was outed for quitting a match with fellow player Christina "CeroBlast" Tran and referring to them as a "faggot" and "tranny" and making numerous extremely offensive comments related to Tran's pre-op transgender status on a stream. This earned Sparrow a lifetime ban from all Capcom-sponsored competitive events. Almost immediately after he was banned, Sparrow himself posted a video of Tran repeatedly using the N-word on a stream, which earned them a lifetime ban of their own.
    • Ryan "Filipino Champ" Ramirez became the third player in 2020 to get the Capcom banhammer after he made a racist joke on Twitter in June that quickly earned him several bans from independent events. After making a fairly unconvincing apology, he then proceeded to attack another player who thanked the tournament organizers for taking action, and Capcom personally stepped in after that and handed Ramirez a lifetime ban from officially-sponsored events.
    • In June 2020, professional fighting game player, Christopher "NYChrisG" Gonzalez, was let go from the big contract he had with top eSports sponsor Evil Geniuses after tweets he made from 2017 resurfaced where he made racist and sexist comments against black female gamers in the fighting game community.
    • On January 6, 2021, Ryan "Gootecks" Gutierrez, a once popular and beloved member of the FGC and pro Street Fighter player got his famous "PogChamp" emote removed from Twitch after making posts on the internet supporting the riot and infiltration of the U.S Capitol building in Washington D.C by President Trump supporters trying to stop the election certification of newly President-Elect, Joe Biden. At that point, Gootecks had already become a pariah in the FGC for his endorsement of QAnon and propagation of COVID-19-related conspiracy theories. The emote was returned to Twitch a short time later, but instead of Gootecks, the emote showed various people making the "PogChamp" face before settling on a variation of the "KomodoHype" emote.
  • Ron Johnson, the Global Head of Consumer Products at Riot Games, resigned shortly after a Facebook post he made blaming George Floyd's murder by police on his "criminal lifestyle" and claiming with absolutely no evidence that Floyd was on his way to kill a child at the time, resulting in an investigation that he beat to the punch.
  • Cryaotic's roles as Oz and Liam de Lioncourt in Monster Prom were replaced for future games following his admittance to having online sexual interactions with underaged fans while he was dating his girlfriend.
  • Following allegations of sexual assault and harassment, Techland cut ties with game writer Chris Avellone for Dying Light 2: Stay Human.
  • The COVID-19 Pandemic had already forced EVO to cancel their 2020 convention and retool it into a more online-centered event. However, in early July 2020, sexual misconduct allegations were leveled against event CEO and co-founder Joey "Mr. Wizard" Cuellar (mostly infamous in recent memory for the Core Values incident during EVO 2019), causing several prominent attendees — ranging from Capcom to the developers of Them's Fightin' Herds Mane6 — to withdraw from the event in protest. As a result, EVO cancelled the event entirely and booted Cuellar from his role in the company shortly afterward.
  • Several allegations of manipulation, gaslighting, and grooming caused Lange (the creator of Sonic Utopia) to be banned from Sonic Fan Games HQ. Likewise, the owner, Perfect Chaos Zero, was accused of the same things, which forced him to step down.
  • Ren Ozawa, who voiced Kazunari Miyoshi in A3 was fired from his agency after reports revealed that he committed domestic abuse on his ex-girlfriend. As a result, he no longer voices his character and was replaced by Tomoru Akazawa, who played Kazunari in the stage productions.
  • Roblox:
    • MisterObvious was once a respected fan animator in the community who was loved for his comedic animations. His videos were so popular that they would win him two Bloxy awards in 2013 and 2014 respectively. This reputation would not last as in June 2017, images emerged that exposed his predatory behavior towards underage girls on Discord. Public opinion of him immediately changed, and the legacy he left from the past was completely destroyed. MisterObvious would later deactivate all of his social media.
    • Explode1 was well known for creating some of the most well-received games on the site. He was especially loved for his high-quality adventure series: Adventure Forward: Star Savior and Super Paper Roblox. Both series combined spanned a total of four games and amassed millions of visits. However, in September 2018, multiple allegations against Explode1 were released to the public. Several people, including some of his fans, friends, and contributors, brought to light his inappropriate behavior. These included sending people to bully others, manipulating his fans, and, most notably, his sexual behavior towards underage girls. This culminated in Roblox banning his account and plans for a third Adventure Forward game were canceled. While Explode1 himself left Roblox after the controversy, most of his games have since been restored and re-released.
  • Lab Zero Games, the developer behind Skullgirls and Indivisible, went bust in September 2020 after the CEO, Mike Zaimont, let go of the studio's remaining staff following a mass exodus that summer caused by several serious allegations, including sexual assault, being brought forward.
  • Former Overwatch League MVP and current Valorant pro player Jay "sinatraa" Won ended up in a multi-game limbo following public allegations by his ex-girlfriend in 2021 accusing him of serial sexual assault. He was suspended from Valorant (both by his team and Riot Games themselves) during the investigation, and Overwatch's "Alien Zarya" skin (a limited-release commemoration of his 2019 MVP title) was entirely scrubbed from the game, with Blizzard issuing refunds to those who had purchased it.
  • Longtime Blizzard developer Jesse McCree was fired from the company after Activision Blizzard erupted in a massive sexual harassment scandal in mid-2021, with him being ousted in a photo and group chat showing him and several other devs involved in the "Cosby Suite" (a hotel suite at BlizzCon nicknamed after that Cosby, alleged to have been a place for them to gather women for dubious sexual purposes). Not only was he booted from his lead designer role on the upcoming Diablo IV, the major Overwatch character named directly after himnote  was announced to be Renamed to Avoid Association.
  • Dream quickly rose to popularity through his "Minecraft Manhunt" video series, in which he would try to speedrun the game while being hunted by a group of other content creators. At the same time, he attempted to develop a serious speedrunning career in the game. In October 2020, Dream would devote 6 entire streams (24 total hours of gameplay) to lowering his time in Any% Random-Seed 1.16,note  ending with a 4th place time on the leaderboard. note  However, some noticed that he was getting a suspiciously high amount of Ender Pearls from bartering with Piglins, as well as Blaze Rods from killing Blazes, the two most integral items for the run. The moderators of, the website where the speedrun was posted, analyzed all 24 hours of footage and, after a two month investigation, concluded that the favorable drop rates in the run were so unlikely to be recreatednote  that the only possible conclusion was that the game had to have been modified to give Dream better drop rates for Ender Pearls and Blaze Rods. The mods ultimately removed the speedrun due to cheating, and the Youtuber became a pariah in the speedrunning community, not helped by his questionable response, in which he denied everything and accused the moderators of lying and bias (even trying to get an astrophysicist to prove that the probabilities were possible), although he has since accepted their decision. This incident most likely torpedoed any chance of a future for Dream in serious speedrunning, although his general career remains extremely healthy. He would later release an apology admitting to using a mod that boosted Ender Pearl rates, explaining that he normally used it for his challenge videos and had not meant to leave it on for a more serious speedrun.
  • Activision cut ties with voice actor Jeff Leach (best known as Ghost in Call of Duty: Warzone) after a video montage of him making sexist remarks on livestreams was brought to their attention. He claimed the clips were taken out of context and he was responding to a toxic troll, only to be met by a response that the kind of abusive language he used shouldn't be part of online gaming no matter who it's directed against.
  • World of Warcraft:
    • Quinton Flynn had his roles in WoW and No More Heroes III recast, and was not invited to a Metal Gear cast reunion stream, after numerous allegations of sexual misconduct with younger female fans were made public in late 2020.
    • It turned out longtime developer of the game Alex Afrasiabi quietly left Blizzard-Activision in 2020 due his alleged sexual misconducts and sexism at the company. Such accusations against figures of the company like him took the gaming world by storm in the summer of 2021.
  • Limited to China only, any Chinese-made games that feature Ai Kayano (notably Arknights, Azur Lane, and Girls Frontline) in it were forced (by pressure of netizens) to remove her voice clips due to how she tweeted about "nice air" in Yasukuni Shrine (a shrine that revere soldiers who fought for Japan, including Imperial Japanese soldiers historically recorded committing infamous war crimes such as Nanking and Unit 731) in February 2021.
  • Prolific Friday Night Funkin' mod producer AetherDX (most famous for working on Matt$'s VS Cyrix, Literally Every FNF Mod Ever, and Vs. Kiryu) lost all of her associations with the community, had her upcoming mod Vs. Akira cancelled, and disappeared from the internet after several members of the community came forward and revealed a litany of evidence not only documenting her fostering of abusive and manipulative relationships, but also exposing her as being the mastermind behind a Content Leak of Monday Dusk Monolith and generally contributing nothing to most of the teams she was signed onto while still pressuring them to put out work.
  • Tripwire Interactive CEO John Gibson stepped down from the job after massive public backlash to voicing his support for Texas' Senate Bill 8, which essentially eliminated legal abortion in the state in defiance of Roe v. Wade. Within hours, one of the company's biggest development partners Shipwright Studios announced they would no longer be working together, and he had heavy opposition within the company as well, which released a notably stern and angry statement that he "disregarded the values of our whole team, our partners and much of our broader community."
  • Runa Narumi, who voiced Yuika Mitsumine in THE iDOLM@STER: Shiny Colors has announced a "health-related" hiatus as well as resigning from her agency. This may or may not be connected with the confirmed chat leaks of herself flinging and cheating on her boyfriend.


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