After receiving multiple condemnation from religious leaders in Malaysia, the controversial game “Fight of Gods” was geo-blocked by Valve as well as the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC).
Earlier, MCMC has deployed a DNS block to the whole Steam store (store.steampowered.com) domain, resulting to all Malaysians using the TM DNS denied access to the Steam store. But, Valve has noticed what’s going on and by receiving the MCMC order, instead they’ve deployed a geo-block for Fight of Gods, preventing Malaysian users to access the game on Steam store at around 4pm Friday, Malaysian time.
According to Lowyat, Valve has replied to them with this statement in accordance with the said issue.
Right now players in Malaysia can access the games they own on Steam, but the Steam Store is being blocked by some local telcos in Malaysia. From reports we are reading, this is due to a single game that conflicts with local laws. We have contacted the developer, removed the game, and are attempting to make contact with the officials in Malaysia to remove the block. We apologize for any inconvenience.
And while MCMC has already lifted the DNS block for Steam store in Malaysia, the game developer only agreed to place a geo-block on the Fight of Gods game just on Malaysia – it’s still accessible to all other users in the world.
The controversial game Fight of Gods, which features, Jesus and Buddha as playable characters, among others. While it seems that it’s religiously unpleasing, no one have responded to this issue as strongly as the Malaysian government, who even appealed for the game’s availability to be removed in their country.
As first seen on neogaf forums, the issue might have arised from the said fact that it features two main religious figures as playable characters – leading to Keruak (MCMC) labeling the game as blasphemous. Released last week as an early-access game, it also features Odin, Zeus and Anubis as part of its player roster.
On the early hours of the block, there is this notice when Malaysian users tried to access the Steam store, as noted by a user from the linked neogaf thread above.
And by trying to access the Steam store webpage, it just took users to a notification page saying: “Access to this site has been denied under Section 263(2) Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 as it violates the following Malaysian law: Communications and Multimedia Act 1998.”
The said Malaysian intellectual property law forbids “making, creating, or soliciting any comment, request, suggestion or other communication which is obscene, indecent, false, menacing or offensive in character with intent to annoy, abuse, threaten or harass another person.”
steam had disabled the download of the game in Malaysia in accordance with our warning & request last night.Will uplift the blocking today.
— Salleh Said Keruak (@sallehsaid) September 8, 2017
On the other hand, the publishers, PQube, has released an official short statement yesterday, September 8th, denying that they were contacted by the Malaysian government in response to the religious fighting game issue.
“We never received any communications from Malaysian officials here at PQube.”
The statement goes on to say that “the game is not promoting any religious agenda and is not designed to offend,” and that the developers also respect the decision of anyone who decides not to play their game.
“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,” PQube added.
And that they have reached out to Steam in an attempt to resolve the situation quickly.
You can still check out Fight of Gods’ – Jesus Returns trailer below. You can also watch the game’s launch trailer here. And you could still pick the game up on Steam for around PhP259.95 (now 40% off, at PHP155.97) if you’re not in Malaysia.
EDITORS OPINION: We haven’t played the game after all, but seeing that the game is still in Early Access mode, was just released this week and still on Steam worldwide (except Malaysia), both Digital Crafter (developers) and PQube (publishers) might seem to be happy about their publicity lately, although it happened in a bad way.
And it should remain unto users’ discretion whether to play the game or not as well.