Subnautica’s sound designer Simon Chylinski has been fired after an internet hate mob was sicced on him for posting his own personal opinions online.
The entire debacle started when game director Charlie Cleveland posted a poll which asked whether players would prefer the developers to improve the core game or make it possible to play as a woman. “We need a ‘diversity’ slider in the options,” responded Chylinski. “It will make the character progessively darker more feminine and less sexy.”
The poll was later deleted and Cleveland apologized for his “terribly-worded tweet” but armchair warriors that have digital axes to grind started digging into the company’s employees public history, starting with their social media.
Denizens of the regressive hivemind ResetEra and anonymous Twitter users @queer_queenie and @dijon_dujour both posted screencaps of tweets Chylinski made – all of which kicking off the internet hate mob that wouldn’t stop until Subnautica developer Unknownworlds Entertainment did something.
“Lmao. This is the sound designer for Subnautica. Cool employees u got there,” Dujour said, while posting several of Chylinski’s opinions like “importing random ppl from the 3rd world is also importing 3rd world crime tiers and IQ” and “street poo and rigid cast system in india didn’t come from west. Their space program did tho.”
When speaking to Dangerous, Chylinski confirmed he was fired over the reaction from the internet hate mob, for his personal opinions. Prior to his termination he was working on an expansion pack for the game when the outrage started brewing last weekend.
“I said that I honestly didn’t see anything wrong with it,” he said. “I don’t feel like I need to pretend [not to know about statistics and political realities].” He said that his superiors at the company took the most offense with his joke tweet about identifying as an attack helicopter.
“They began asking me how I would react if they hired a Muslim or trans person. I said I’d debate them like anyone else on the team if I disagreed with them,” said Chylinski. “They said that this would create an unwelcoming working environment and that they see it as a problem that almost only white men are working there, and they need more diversity and that what I said would make that difficult to achieve.”
Despite the decision to fire him, Chylinski was quick to defend his former employer. “These guys are not bad people. I don’t want to paint them that way,” he said. “They are very talented and on a personal level they are nice to be around.” He said that he thinks the company simply didn’t know how to react to such blind, regressive, and intolerant hate.
“I think I should have the freedom to express myself without being fired,” he said, noting that he thought the company would simply distance themselves from his opinions and privately reprimand him, instead of making his termination a public display in an attempt to appease those who are never satisfied.
The ordeal mirrors the intolerant community that circulated NeoGAF prior to its collapse last year, to which its owner said “authoritarian left hostility” and “identity politics” ruined its community and generally weren’t happy with anything he or his staff did.
Subnautica is currently available for Windows PC. In case you missed it, you can find our review for the game here (we recommend it!).