Update: Valve has gotten back to us on the situation with Fight of the Gods and their Doug Lombardi has said the following:
“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.”
Original Story Below
If there’s something that has been proven time and time again over the years is that the entertainment industry loves itself a nice cup of controversy from time to time. Video games, as an industry, are not immune to this rule, if anything, it’s the biggest culprit. It’s no surprise, then, that Fight of the Gods, a fighting game featuring religious figures as playable characters, sparked an internet-wide debate over its admittedly touchy content. The recent addition of Jesus Christ and Gautama Buddha to the games’ roster apparently was the straw that broke the camel’s back for MCMC, the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission, that decided to block the access to the entire Steam store to prevent access to the game.
Malaysian Steam users that try to access the store page will be greeted by a message stating that access to the site is blocked as it violates National laws. According to the MCMC, the commission contacted Valve asking the company to geoblock the game within 24 hours lest further actions to be taken. Apparently, Valve did not comply within the given time frame, resulting in the block of the entire store page for the whole nation. The site has been blocked on the DNS of Malaysian ISPs. This means that users using an alternative DNS or a VPN are unaffected by the block. It’s worth pointing out that the block does not prevent users to play the games in their library.
PQube, the publisher of Fight of the Gods, released a statement on the event, stating that they never received any communication from the MCMC on the matter, indicating that the commission only contacted Valve to solve the issue. Here is their statement in full regarding 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.
TechRaptor reached to Valve for further comment and will update this article whenever a response or further information is available.