Malaysian government blocks access to Steam over religiously controversial new fighting game

'Game is not designed to offend' responds publisher

Posted by John 'Velociraptor' Guerrero • September 9, 2017 at 11:24 a.m. PDT

A new Steam fighting title has been making waves in the gaming community, not all of which have been positive.

Fight of Gods is a Steam-only fighting game with a relatively low price tag of $7.99. The fighter dropped back on September 4th, and features religious figureheads such as Buddah, Zeus, Moses, Odin, Sif and Jesus Christ in hand to hand combat.

It goes without saying that this kind of content could easily be taken as offensive, but the Malaysian government has expressed exceptional disdain for the dueling deities, identifying Fight of Gods as an offense of Section 233 of their Communications and Multimedia Act 1998

In order to block access to Fight of Gods within its political borders, Malaysian officials have shut down access (via a Domain Name System block) to the entire Steam Store. Players are unable access the Steam Store on laptop or mobile, but can still play games that've already been downloaded.

Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Dr Salleh Said Keruak stated that action was taken 24 hours after the ministry issued an ultimatum to Steam demanding disabling of downloads of Fight of Gods for Malaysian users.

The Minister spoke with Malaysian newspaper The Star on the matter, expressing specifics as to why such action has been taken.

"This action is necessary to protect the users and to prevent untoward incidents. (To ensure) solidarity, harmony and well-being of the multi-racial and multi-religious people in the country are the main objectives of the Government. The Government will not compromise on any action that can jeopardize these objectives."

Fight of Gods publisher, PQube, did issue a statement concerning the Malaysian ban to Rolling Stone's video game reporting division, Glixel:

"Fight of Gods is a video game that takes a humorous approach to religion in the same way that other entertainment formats have – across television, film, books and theater. The game is not promoting any religious agenda and is 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."

Although the developers state the game "isn't designed to offend," it's hard to envision a scenario where they weren't aware the title would be very controversial.

Video source: PQube Games.

On Steam the game has gathered mostly positive reviews. At the time of this writing it has a 88% score, with 309 total reviews submitted.

Fight of Gods is an early access title, meaning that it's currently in the final stages of development, but could still change before a final build is established.

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