An eight-dollar indie fighting game has just gotten the best publicity it could have ever dreamed of – the Malaysian government has effectively stripped access to the game via Steam for all its citizens. The reasoning? You can pit literal deities and saviors against each other, or in this case, anything fighting their sacred Buddha.
The hammer came down via the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) via a country-wide blanket ban of the entire Steam Store.
This came after a report (via Lowyat) that the Malaysian government requested Valve block access to the game for users within their country. Valve apparently didn’t respond quick enough, so they blocked the entire store.
Fight of Gods comes off as a silly concept as it stars various god-type characters from all sorts of mythologies, including: Jesus, Moses, Buddha, Anubis, Guan Gong, Athena, and Zeus. Many initial reviews of the Early Access title note that it’s surprisingly competent as a fighting game.
There are plans to add more, but coming off this new controversy and the expected outrage, don’t expect further Buddhist deities and definitely abandon all hope of having Jesus fight Muhammad.
For now, publisher PQube is working on the issue, providing this statement to Niche Gamer:
We never received any communications from Malaysian officials here at PQube, however reports seem to indicate that Malaysia has now blocked access to all of Steam in order to prevent access to Fight of Gods.
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 theatre.
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.
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.
You can find Fight of Gods here on Steam.