Malaysian Government Bans Steam Over Religious Fighting Game Starring Jesus

The game’s publisher claims it wasn’t consulted before the move was taken.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

Out of curiosity, is Smite banned in Malaysia?

Quick Google search is making it look like no it is not banned. A thread from 2 years ago on Reddit is one of the top results with someone from Malaysia looking for people to play with.

That’s how it seemed to me as well. How puzzling.

Malaysia is a heavily Muslim country and that plays into its politics. Smite doesn’t have any entities from the Abramhamic traditions, but in the case of this game the issue is Jesus who is a revered figure in Islam which is why this has triggered a response where Smite did not.

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I would say this game is a threat to people’s “racial unity and harmony” as much as the original Street Fighter promoted a world-wide war! shakes fist at Thailand

For those not keeping a super close eye on this store, there has since been an update (quoted from the article):

Update: 2:46 pm [I’m assuming EDT]: Steam is now unblocked for some, but the game remains unavailable in Malaysia. Valve says it’s “contacted the developer, removed the game [in Malaysia], and are attempting to make contact with the officials in Malaysia to remove the block.”

And a few days later the Indonesian IT ministry is threatening to Block Steam now as well. It’s a pointless but not really surprising move, given the way things are here.

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Yeah, not really the best way to go about it on Malaysia’s part.

Still, taking a quick look at the game, I’m definitely not offended, just a bit weirded out. Like the article says, it’s just “goofy”, not really harmful. I already try to be mindful on things like cultural appropriation, but this gives this white Christian man another small, imperfect lens to look through, imagining what it would be like to be surrounded by stuff like that all the time and not be able to say anything about it.