As a somewhat extreme reminder of the unique challenges an international game release can bring, the Malaysian Communication and Multimedia Commission has blocked access to Steam as a whole in the country of Malaysia in response to a game on the platform that it says violates Malaysian law.
The game in question, Digital Crafter's diety-driven early access title Fight of Gods, pits a cast of mythological and religious figures against one another in an otherwise traditional 2D fighting game.
The MCMC, however, says that the game threatens the “solidarity, harmony, and wellbeing of the multiracial and multireligious people” in Malaysia, and as such is in violation of the Communications and Multimedia Act of 1998 which forbids the creation or distribution of offensive content in the country.
According to The Malaysian Insight, the MCMC first approached Steam after the game’s launch and gave the platform 24 hours to block distribution of the game in Malaysia. After inaction from Valve, the commission ordered internet service providers to block access to Steam and any other websites distributing the game online.
The publisher of the game itself, PQube, notes that they were never directly contacted by the MCMC or any Malaysian official regarding Fight of Gods, saying in a statement that it has since reached out to Steam to try and resolve the situation.
“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,” reads the statement from PQube. “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,” continues the statement. “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.”