This is why many video games take place in fictionalized countries or worlds. Picture a game set in a near-future setting where an independent prison is run by mercenaries and scientists utilizing the facility for their own unethical experiments without any sort of oversight. This sounds pretty standard doesn’t it? Presumably the plot would then follow an inmate who escapes due to some unexpected side effect or incredible breakthrough and then fights his or her way out of the facility. Doesn’t sound like anything too objectionable right? Not when it’s set in a futuristic version of Guantanamo Bay, the prison where the US government has been holding suspected terrorists for years.
I admit that I’m generally not interested in the games that cause lots of controversy. Not out of any particular bias, just that A) I don’t like the Grand Theft Auto series and B) most other controversial games turn out to be a bit crap. This game though sounded pretty interesting and I’m sad to report that it’s been shelved indefinitely. Unfortunately conservatives got wind of the game’s title and assumed that the game would involve detainees or terrorists getting their revenge against American Soldiers.
Rush Limbaugh attacked the game on his radio show and somehow bloggers and columnists inferred that since former detainee Moazzam Begg had a financial stake in the game he was going to be the main character and that the game was going to be strongly anti-American. T-Enterprise, the studio behind the game has insisted that they have no ties to terrorism and are ceasing work on the title, likely in part because when contacted for a comment on the game Microsoft said they hadn’t heard of the game before, meaning that T-Enterprise hadn’t begun getting the licensing they needed in order to release the game on the Xbox 360. With all this controversy it’s not likely that they would now either.