Sea of Stars Developers Remove The Completionist NPC Amidst Charity Fraud Controversy

In a surprising turn of events, Sabotage Studio, the creators of the hit indie RPG Sea of Stars, have decided to remove Jirard Khalil’s in-game character, Jirard the Constructionist, following recent accusations of charity fraud against the popular YouTuber and charity organizer. Sea of Stars, celebrated for its nostalgic homage to 16-bit RPGs, has been a standout success in the indie game scene of 2023, earning accolades such as Best Independent Game at The Game Awards 2023.

Jirard Khalil, known by his online moniker “The Completionist,” had been an enthusiastic supporter of Sabotage Studio’s RPG even before its official launch. His vocal endorsement earned him a special cameo appearance as an NPC in the game. However, recent accusations by YouTubers Karl Jobst and SomeOrdinaryGamers claim that Khalil’s family charity organization, the Open Hand Foundation, has been withholding substantial funds raised for dementia research through charity events like the IndieLand charity livestream.

In response to these allegations, Sabotage Studio president Thierry Boulanger took to Discord to announce the removal of Jirard the Constructionist from Sea of Stars. Boulanger emphasized that the decision was made after carefully monitoring events over the past few weeks, with the primary aim being to “maintain a positive and optimistic space” around the game. Importantly, Boulanger clarified that the studio is not passing judgment on Khalil due to the accusations.

The controversy surrounding The Completionist’s charity work has garnered significant attention, with Jobst and SomeOrdinaryGamers accusing the Open Hand Foundation of withholding over $600,000 in donations earmarked for dementia research. In response to these claims, Jirard Khalil issued an apology, acknowledging shortcomings in communication regarding the timing of donation disbursements but vehemently denying any fraudulent activity by the foundation.

Regardless of the ongoing dispute over the allegations, Sabotage Studio’s decision to distance Sea of Stars from Jirard Khalil’s NPC reflects the studio’s commitment to preserving the positive reputation of their critically acclaimed game. Fans of Khalil will now have to come to terms with the absence of Jirard the Constructionist from the Sea of Stars gaming experience.

Sea of Stars’ success in 2023 had been a testament to the indie game’s ability to capture the essence of classic RPGs like Chrono Trigger while introducing modern elements. The game’s captivating visuals, complemented by a remarkable musical score, contributed to its widespread acclaim. However, the decision to remove a prominent NPC associated with a controversial figure like The Completionist is bound to stir discussions among the gaming community.

Sabotage Studio’s commitment to maintaining a positive environment around Sea of Stars speaks to the challenges faced by developers in navigating controversies that involve individuals associated with their projects. As the gaming industry continues to grapple with issues of accountability and ethical conduct, the Sea of Stars incident adds another layer to the ongoing dialogue about the relationship between creators and their communities.

It remains to be seen how the removal of Jirard the Constructionist will impact the overall reception of Sea of Stars and whether the controversy will have lasting repercussions on Jirard Khalil’s online presence. As the gaming community awaits further developments, this incident serves as a reminder of the complex dynamics between content creators, developers, and the responsibility that comes with wielding influence in the digital age.

Sam Allcock
Sam Allcock
Founder | Head of PR At Nerd Bite, we are lucky to have Sam on our team. He is an expert in online PR, social media strategy, e-commerce, and news websites, with a wealth of knowledge that makes him a valuable asset. Sam's experience and skills have helped us deliver successful campaigns for clients and stay ahead of the competition. With his contributions, we are confident that we will continue to provide high-quality content and services to our readers and partners.

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