The entirety of Steam has been blocked in Malaysia due to the country’s opposition to an early access fighting game where you beat the crap out of various religious figures.
The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission have demanded that Fight of the Gods, popular recently for its take on Jesus, the Buddah, and others from a variety of religions pit against each other in one-on-one fighting, be banned from Steam.
According to publisher PQube, if this is not done within the next 24 hours, further action will be taken (although they didn’t clarify whether this action will be against Valve, or against PQube directly). Until the game is removed, Steam will be inaccessible in Malaysia.
While I could still access Steam through Malaysian proxies, several users in the country have confirmed the block, sealing away the entire Steam store (but not the Steam community features like friends) behind a notice claiming the ban is due to “violating National laws”.
In a statement, developer Digital Crafter and PQube both claim there has been zero contact from the Malaysian government about the game, and that they are working with Valve to resolve the issue. Not before calling Malaysia out on its over-the-top literal censorship:
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.
We have reached out to Steam and are working with them to resolve the situation as soon as possible.
It’s surprising to see such a reaction from an entire government over a small, otherwise forgettable early access game, but Fight of the Gods has been doing the rounds recently due to its controversial premise. It’s also been seeing some popularity from the fighting game community despite its jankiness.
Just wait until they see what Smite’s doing…