Steam found its store temporarily blocked in Malaysia, thanks to the launch of Fight of Gods, an indie fighting game where you can square up against the likes of Zeus, Anubis, and Buddha.
Malaysian courts take blasphemy very seriously—offending religious sensibilities can see you imprisoned for up to three years—so it’s not hard to see why Fight of Gods, where a post-crucifixion Jesus batters opponents with still-nailed-to-his-body pieces of wood, drew the ire of censors.
The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission tells Channel News Asia that Steam failed to remove the offending title within 24 hours. As a result, several ISPs blocked Steam’s 2.1 million Malaysian users for several hours.
PQube, the game’s UK-based publisher, and developer Digital Crafter tells Kotakuthe Fight of Gods “takes a humorous approach to religion [and was] not designed to offend.
“The description of the game on the digital platforms through which it is distributed provide clear guidance on the nature of the game and its content so that people can freely choose whether or not to play it. We fully respect the choice of those who would not wish to play it.
“We are disappointed that such freedom of choice is not given to everyone and in particular that the game has been forcibly removed from sale in Malaysia, although no direct communication has been received by us as to the reasons for this. Nevertheless we respect any rules and censorship imposed in any given territory.”
The ban doesn’t seem to have done Digital Crafter much harm; many of the glowing reviews you can find on Steam appear to be sympathy buys. “Never heard of this game before the Malaysian government blocked it, 10/10” says jbnoeh, while Pedro-NF admits that despite buying the game “after reading that it had been banned” he hadn’t actually played it yet.