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Malaysia Blocks Steam Over Religious Fighting Game, Fight of Gods [Update]

Controversy over the game's depiction of religion.

News by Matt Kim, .

Update: Steam is back in Malaysia, but Fight of Gods has been removed from the Malaysian store.

The government of Malaysia has blocked all of Steam in the country over a controversy regarding the recently released game, Fight of Gods, a fighting game where religious figures like Jesus and Buddha can fight.

The move, which was pushed forward by the Malaysian Communication and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) in an effort to block Fight of Gods which the country's Communication and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Salleh Said Keruak called a huge threat to racial unity and harmony.

"The action is necessary to protect the users and to prevent untoward incidents...The government will not compromise with any action that can jeopardise these objectives," said the Minister.

The ban comes 24 hours after an ultimatum made by the Ministry which asked for a disabling of downloads for the game by Malaysian users according to the Malay Mail Online. Publisher PQube denies ever receiving communication from the Malaysian government issuing in a statement, "we never received any communication from Malaysian officials here at PQube."

Officially, the Malaysian Ministry accuses Fight of Gods of breaching Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act of 1998 which proscueds the creation and spread of offensive content. The penalties include a year in jail or fine up to RM50,000 (11,920 USD), or both.

PQube's full statement regarding the game is as follows:

"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 will update the story accordingly when more details arise.

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