MCMC blocks Steam over 'Fight of Gods'

PUTRAJAYA: The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) has directed local internet service providers to block access to the popular digital distribution Steam store following the discovery of a fighting game involving various religious figures.

Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Salleh Said Keruak said the action was taken after the video game platform provider, Steam failed to comply with the 24-hour duration given to prevent the offensive game from being downloaded by users in Malaysia.

"This action is necessary to protect consumers as well as to ensure that undesirable events do not occur.

"The harmony and well-being of the multiracial and religious people of the country remains as one of the main goals of the government. The government will not tolerate anything that threatens this," he said in a statement here today.

Earlier today, it was reported that the MCMC had contacted Valve, the service provider that runs the popular Steam gaming hub and requested that "Fight of Gods" be blocked for Malaysians within the next 24 hours.

Failure by Valve to comply would entail action being taken by the MCMC.

Salleh said the video game humiliated religions and religious leaders and threatened racial consensus and harmony.

"The MCMC also want to remind consumers to be more vigilant and to use their discretion when choosing what content they access online." he said.

Creating and spreading of offensive material is an offense under Section 233 of the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Act 1998, and can be punished with a fine of not more than RM50,000 or a year imprisonment or both.

theSun had on Thursday reported on its front page about the game that was released on Steam Early Access and was available to Malaysians for only RM11.

The game, which was developed by Taiwanese gaming studio Digital Crafter, features among others, Jesus Christ and Gautama Buddha as fight characters.

They are characters that were added to the game's stable of fighters, which already featured the likes of Greek god Zeus, the Viking Odin, Guan Gong and Moses when it was first announced in March.

The developers are open to adding more characters to the pantheon with the Prophet Muhammad earmarked as a possible playable character in future expansions.