Iran-based Developer Summoned to Court Over Children of Morta

Gaming article by Austin Suther on Saturday, January 4, 2020 - 19:50
Dead Mage
11 bit studios
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September 1, 2019
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Update: Since the article was originally published 11-Bit Studios has responded to our inquiry with a public statement about the summons.

there was such a case, but after brief explanations the case has been dismissed and it touched only Iranian market and its local context. Children of Morta is a game about family and the family plays the key role. The game doesn't comment on faith, religion, social or political issues. We are positive it treats with proper respect all the things it talks about and as a game in a fantasy world, staying away from aforementioned issues, it does not disrespect the Islamic culture. They are just devs from an international team who want to create great experiences for gamers all around the world. The devs have full support from 11 bit in their creative work. Dead Mage is a fantastic team.

The team lead for the Iran-based indie studio Dead Mage announced today that his team was summoned to Iranian court over noncompliance of Islam within their game Children of Morta.

This comes after said Team Lead Amir Fassihi took to Twitter to make this announcement. A ResetEra user named "Amir" translated the Tweet, saying:

Children of Morta developer is summoned to the court over the complaint that the game includes dancing, lack of hijab, lack of praising for God, use of magic for fighting demons and also a burial not complying with Islamic laws.

Fassihi's original Tweet has since been removed, an archived version can be found here, thanks to the ResetEra thread.

Children of Morta is an action RPG which released earlier this year. Players take the role of various members of the Bergson family, who must fight demons and various other supernatural creatures. Some characters use magic in Children of Morta. The female members of the Bergson family do not wear hijabs, but Children of Morta is set in a completely made-up fantasy world.

Dead Mage has not gone to court yet, and Fassihi did not specify which court it would be tried in. Right now everything seems to be up to speculation due to the language barrier and general lack of information. Within the ResetEra thread, some are saying Dead Mage was questioned by the Islamic religious police and are now going to court. Others are saying a private party initially sued and the government is now trying the developer.

These statements by ResetEra users should be taken with a grain of salt until someone from Dead Mage reveals more information; however, it seems the next step for the Children of Morta developer is to go to court over non-compliance with Islamic laws.

Quick Take

I cannot claim to be knowledgeable in the laws of Iran, but I would be very interested to know if there is some sort of precedent for Iran-based game developers. I admit, Dead Mage is the only game developer I know of based in Iran, so it's likely a rare thing indeed. We can only hope that Dead Mage comes out of this without any sort of punishment.

What are your thoughts on this court case against Dead Mage? Let us know in the comments below!

About the Author


Austin Suther

Staff Writer

I love to write, and I love to game. So, I've combined those two hobbies into one! Some of my favorite games include Fire Emblem, Halo, The Elder Scrolls, and World of Warcraft. Sometimes I like to read the occasional fantasy novel, too!