Earlier today, the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission blocked access for Malaysian players to steampowered.com, due to allegations that “the website violates the National law(s).”
The situation began with the release of Fight of Gods, a game that has met with some controversy as it depicts various deities and religious figures, such as Jesus, Buddha, Moses, Zeus, and Odin, earlier this week. According to a statement released by PQube, the publisher of Fight of Gods, Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (or MCMC) has actively called for a ban of the game, asking for the removal of Fight of Gods within 24 hours of the MCMC’s initial statement or “face further actions.”
In the same statement, Peter Fury, Public Relations Representative for PQube, claims that neither PQube nor Digital Crafter, Fight of Gods developer, received any sort of communication for the MCMC directly.
The teams at Digital Crafter and PQube, who stand by their work on Fight of Gods have released the following statement:
“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.”
PQube and Digital Crafter have reached out to Steam in an effort to find a solution to the situation.
Reports vary as to how much of Steam is blocked in Malaysia by the DSN blocker initiated by the MCMC. There are alleged reports of ways to circumvent the situation through Google DSN as well.
CGMagazine has reached out to Steam and Valve for a statement and will update the story accordingly.
UPDATE: According to a representative from Valve, in response to our request for comment:
“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.”