A company called Steam has incurred the wrath of the Malaysian authorities by promoting a video game that pits mythological deities, Jesus included, against one another.
The Steam blurb for Fight of Gods reads:
Your prayers have been answered! For the first time ever, gods, holy spirits and mythological characters from around the globe and throughout history will clash in an explosive 2D fighter where the entire world is at stake!
And the game’s developer, PQube, adds:
Who will prevail in the ultimate battle of gods? Will Jesus, fresh from ripping himself off the sacrificial cross, smite all his foes with the power of his Punishment Fist?
Can Buddha slap his opponents into submission?
Harness the power of fire, lightning, water, plagues and more as you pit gods and prophets such as Odin, Zeus, Amaterasu, Anubis, Moses and Athena against one another in one of the most unique and outlandish fighters ever created.
According to this report, the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) took immediate action by denying citizens access to the Steam store.
The company debuted a trailer featuring Jesus this week. That caused quite a stir, with mainstream media outlets gleefully reporting Jesus’ addition to the game, with his deadpan fight introduction voice-over of “I’m back, for the people”.
Jesus then rips himself off his cross and uses the remaining wood to beat a variety of opponents. Mo-Ham-Head is notably missing from the line-up of foes.
Malaysians who try to access the store get the message in English and Malay:
This website is not available in Malaysia as it violate(s) the National law(s).
Fight of Gods publisher PQube has provided a statement:
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.