Access to one of the biggest online game stores of the world, Steam, was blocked by the Malaysian Government in the country to Steam over its trade of a game that lets a range of gods to fight against each other. The move comes after the game was asked to be removed from the store by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission mentioning that the game can result in “problematic events” and that pulling it out was essential to ensure harmony, well-being, and solidarity of the multi-religious and multi-racial individuals in the country.
It features deities such as Amaterasu, Moses, and Odin. The latest addition of Jesus and Gautama Buddha has trapped the consideration of Malaysian religious authorities. Datuk R.S. Mohan Shan, Deputy President of the Malaysian Consultative Council of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism, and Taoism, said the game disgraces religions and their respective religious leaders.
He said, “This is an extremely sensitive subject and it is absolutely not tolerable. We can by no means give approval to such games. An immediate measure should be taken by the government to ban the sale of the game here. It is also unwholesome for kids as they may idolize specific game characters they consider them to be more dominant owing to the figure of victories they achieve with that character.”
Fight of Gods game is being designed by Taiwanese developer Digital Crafter that is, at present, seeking a response from the Steam community as to which deities to include to its list in upcoming updates. Excluding Buddha—who, in Hinduism, is believed as an incarnation of Lord Vishnu—no deities are in the game from Hinduism at present.
Fight of The Gods’ publisher, PQube, in a statement said, “Fight of Gods is a game that has an entertaining perspective on religion in the similar manner that other entertainment set-ups have—within film, television, theatre, and books. The game is not encouraging any religious scheme and is not intended to cause offense. The game’s narrative on the digital platforms by which it is sold offers clear information on the game’s nature and its content so that individuals can freely opt whether or not to play the game. We completely value the preference of those who wouldn’t desire to play it.”
The failure of Steam to instantly obey the 24-hour ultimatum of the Malaysian government agency led to its blocking in the country. However, the ban was removed 3 hours later as Steam settled to pull out the Fight of The Gods in Malaysia.