Last week’s Friday truly was a nightmare in Malaysia’s gaming history, when access to Steam was completely and temporarily blocked by the Malaysian government. The platform’s banning was done by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission, they directed Internet service provider to block the gaming hub after the news of inclusions of religious figures in a fighting game.
Imagine the horror (especially for DOTA’s players) when you clicked on the site and you received the notification above. Hundreds of thousands Steam users were triggered by this unfortunate event. Lucky the ban was only temporary (thank heavens, gamers’ wrath is a fearsome thing, you know.) On the following day, Sept 9, the ban was lifted from site. That is only after Steam had Fight of Gods removed from their store. Though, Valve claimed that they do not know the problem was the Fight of Gods game.
The reason for site’s banning is because of one single game (yes, only because of one game), Fight Of Gods. Fight Of Gods is a fighting game developed by a Taiwanese studio, a game that pits deities against each other. It sounds normal enough, no? Nay, the game just had to include two prominent religious figure; Jesus Christ and Gautama Buddha. Yes, them (sigh) due to this, many religious leaders in Malaysia see this as a threat to unity and faith of the country. The Malaysian Communication and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) stated in a statement, the organization is committed to protect the citizen of Malaysia and they will not tolerate any acts that threatened the sanctity of religion and unity in Malaysia. And i quote “This action is necessary to protect the users and to prevent untoward incidents. To ensure solidarity, harmony, and well-being of multi racial and multireligious people in the country are the main objectives of the government. The government will not compromise with any action that can jeopardise these objectives.”, said Datuk Said Salleh Keruak.
Datuk Said Salleh Keruak stated the banning was only done after Steam, failed to comply within 24 hours of the ultimatum warranted by the ministry to remove and disable downloads for Fight of Gods. MCMC described the game as degrading faith and religion as well as threatening racial unity.