Deity-based MOBA SMITE will not use Jewish, Christian, Islamic figures

Controversy from inclusion of Hindu figures prompts response from Hi-Rez Studios COO.

Hi-Rez Studios' upcoming game SMITE has made waves for its depiction of combat between the deities of various religions, but the studio is steering clear of some of the world's largest faiths.

SMITE's version of Hindu goddess Kali, one of the deities to spark objections.

Todd Harris, Hi-Rez Studios' chief operating officer, responded to GameSpot about controversy resulting from the inclusion of Hindu figures in its upcoming multiplayer online battle arena. The figures' appearances in the game prompted Rajan Zed, president of the Universal Society of Hinduism, to request their removal from the game, as he said putting the deities under player control trivialized them.

Harris initially responded by stating that Hi-Rez decided to use figures from the Hindu faith because it is one of the world's oldest and most diverse religions, providing a good base of inspiration for several characters. SMITE also pulls from Greek, Chinese, Egyptian, and Norse mythologies, Harris stated. The game, which is now in closed beta, will include more deities as development continues, not fewer.

GameSpot requested comment on whether the company plans to implement figures from Abrahamic (Jewish, Christian, and Islamic) religions into its game in keeping with its diverse roster of characters. Harris answered, saying Hi-Rez includes a diverse staff and that Abrahamic figures were not included mostly for gameplay reasons: its tradition does not have stories about deities fighting one another with "awesome abilities," he said.

"From [the] perspective of a video game, the key Abrahamic figures--Adam, Noah, Moses, Jesus, Mohammed, are not that interesting in character design or gameplay. They are all human. They never overlapped or interacted with one another. They certainly never fought each other in dramatic fashion with unique abilities. They are all peaceful--at best they would be support characters," Harris said.

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14 comments
50cratez
50cratez

anita sarkeesian would not approve of this art work.

space_terror
space_terror

As a Hindu, I don't really care about Hindu deities being used in the game, I'm just a little annoyed that they won't include Abrahamic figures as well; there are plenty of interesting figures that would fit in the game; angels, demons, leviathans, djinns, etc. But of course, they don't want to offend them. If you don't care about potentially stepping on the toes of some, don't care about it for everyone. Don't show an obvious bias Hi-Rez.

veemonro
veemonro

What a load of BS :)). You don't use Abrahamic religions because of the uproar it would cause. Plus, if youd put muhamed in there, I honestly doubt youd have the courage to step out from your house again :)).


Still you could put Archangels, Moises (could call plagues) , solomon etc. They're not gods but then again hercule isnt either

jessesanman
jessesanman

The thing about abrahamic religions not having interesting characters is BS.


The Catholic canon has several different saints each known for something particular to them. Revelation mentioned many angels who each ruled over a certain sphere as well as demon princes who did the same.


Islam itself has creatures called Djinn, beings made of the purest fire without smoke, created before man. When Allah said to them that they should bow to Adam, the most powerful of them (Shaytan, I think) refused because he was more powerful than Adam, so he didn't believe he had to bow to him.


In Hebrew folklore there was mentioning of Lillith, Adam's first and unsuccessful wife. People kinda argue what became of her, but apparently she has power. Then there was the Golem, strong enough to kill dozens of men with his bare hands and made of clay.


There are interesting things in the Abrahamic myths, there just not with the god of the myths.

demonhunter127
demonhunter127

actually jesus was fully God fully man, look it up. Haha have you even read about the jesus in revelations?  He described as a sword coming out of his mouth, robe dripped in blood. You don't have to use any of those humans. But moses would be pretty sweet because of his staff. And God will have a battle with satan, as read in revelations. And why not use the Angel of Death? WTF! Im a christian and that would be AMAZING if you put my God in there. Elijah would be another awesome person to use, he rode to heaven in a burning chariot. why not put satan in there i hate him but why not? AND GOD WOULD NOT BE A SUPPORT CHARACTER!! HAVE YOU EVEN READ WHAT HE HAS DONE???? He sent hail upon the enemies of the israelites that just wiped them out! He flooded the whole WORLD. Better than the ocean god. God has DONE AMAZING THINGS! He will send fireballs at the earth. HE CAN DO EVERYTHING! He has thrown lightning bolts at people, haha cooler than thor. And YOU CAN USE THE TRINITY! God is not peaceful he is merciful.

BlackMage-Ra
BlackMage-Ra

Good call! Keep to the good myths and leave the crazy Christophobia to Seth MacFarlane and South Park. Not only are they the only devs not afraid to make Ra black but they know how to make a game without feeding to pessimistic hate. Making the majority happy is how you make it in free enterprise and I can't wait to see Smite make it big.

krolm
krolm

Its funny how christian islam jewish and hindu faiths are known as "religion" while the ancient greek, norse, chinese, and egyptian faiths are known always as "mythology" all of the faiths are equally as ridiculous as the last, so where do they draw the line at whats a religion and whats a myth. considering theres no proof to support any of these faiths, id say its all myth. 

Komania
Komania

Well Judaism, Christianity, and Islam only have one God, not a pantheon of deities like the other religions. It wouldn't incorporate into the game well (imagine playing as the Abrahamic God, AKA all-powerful being. It wouldn't balance well). There's also no really interesting myths associated with any of the figures (who are all human, and not deities in themselves but merely a representative for God). Couple this with the fact that there would be a massive backlash if you could play as Jesus, and it makes perfect sense why they made this decision.

Destrond
Destrond

They need paganism in there. Would be awesome as hell.

majere613
majere613

It seems fairly reasonable from a purely design point of view- the myths/ religions they're using are all pantheistic and feature lots of stories of conflict between the various gods and demigods, which you don't tend to get in monotheistic religions like Christianity, Islam and Judaism. Hinduism is quite unusual in being a pantheistic religion that still has a lot of followers in the modern world.

 

Of course, it's worth remembering that Shiva has been in Final Fantasy for ages, so it's not like this is anything particularly new in that respect.

karan_k19
karan_k19

As a Hindu im not offended by the fact that Hindu Gods are going to be playable characters. Im offended because if some one from the hinduism asks to not include them they get told that it is an intersesting story and gameplay will be great because they are combining all the ancient gods such as greek, roman and egyptian. However when asked will they include other religions they say no because the others are not interesting which is a lie. They don't want to offend the Christians, Muslims Jewish etc and feel its ok to take the Hindu deities because we don't make a noise(Thats because we or at least I was taught not to enforce my religion on others because its their own choice and not to care what others are doing)! The sad thing is the Hi-REZ developers would probably get many death threats and if they continued they would be killed!

Arsyad00
Arsyad00

there`s no deity in Islam DUH!!!!

Codigieken
Codigieken

Put in the the flying spaghetti monster and I will buy/dl? day one lol

Mega_Skrull
Mega_Skrull

1. Try to make a game about surely controversial stuff.

2. Chicken out and scrap controversial stuff from game.

3. ???

4. Definitely not profit...

Utahraptor_
Utahraptor_

The New Testament has the Book of Revelations, which has gods/lesser gods/angels/demons/mythological powers battling each other and humans. The Old Testament has God being outsmarted by a talking, devilish snake.

(1) In the Old Testament (Genesis 32: 22-32), the Jewish God lost a wrestling match to Jacob (LOL).

(2) In Judges 1:19, Judah and the Jewish God lost a battle against men on iron chariots (haha).

(3) In 2 Kings 3:14-27, the Israelites and the Jewish God lost a battle against men worshiping a pagan God (haha).

airshocker
airshocker

Wow, what an abysmal piece of writing. "Deity-based MOBA SMITE will not use Jewish, Christian, Islamic figures" does not click with "Controversy from inclusion of Hindu figures prompts response from Hi-Rez Studios COO"

 

Probably shouldn't let interns make news stories. Just a thought.

params7
params7

Indian here and I see nothing wrong with Hindu deities being used in games and movies. Its because of stuck up people like Rajan Zed acting like they have copyright control of hindu religion that we won't ever get to see a good cinematization of Mahabharata/Ramayana. If Hollywood tried to make them, it would be more epic than LoTR movies. Maybe in a 100 years when conservatism in our nation/religion learns to take a freakin' CHILL PILL.

noobody1
noobody1

Shin Megami Tensei did a lot worst and no one cares

Jebril
Jebril

Gamespot: The place for 15 year olds that they know for certain that god exists/doesn't exist and to debate philosophical ideas.AKA the sewers of the internet.

Marick58
Marick58

Thank Goodness! Glad they're keeping the Abrahamic violent, bullshit out of the game...

They even admit it that those religions are boring LOL!

Hatemachine25
Hatemachine25

Why not? are they trade marked or something? last I checked "Mythological" deities are the realm of free thought, I wanna see Jesus pop in with an airstrike squadron of angels, I wanna see Vishnu drop a 10 ton thunder hammer on a Building filled with whatever random myriad possible enemy, but I can understand that the medium that is gaming stretches to a very wide audience, and that it may be slightly out of context for someone else to write a story involving something as Iconic and Historical in nature, and besides gamers are really no different, we know how gamers are with THEIR religious Icons, Waiting in lines for days just to get a GLIMPSE of their favored deities amongst the unwashed masses, all huddled to hear the words of their prophets, seeking absolution and praise based on their continued unwavering faith that they're deity will bestow unto them visions of fortune and glory, where the most devout followers are seen amongst the few who follow the same path as messiahs. NOW try putting that into context with E3, and Major league gaming, also picture Team Ninja doing a Mario Game, there would be an outcry, that or Tissue and Sweat Sock sales would skyrocket from team ninjas portrayal of Princess Peach.

frankblack789
frankblack789

didn't Lucifer lead a war against heaven/god pitting angel against angel.  how does that not fit into this game's premise?

Darth_Tyrranus
Darth_Tyrranus

Gasp!  No bomb wielding Muhammed character?!  This is an outrage!

Gooper_Blooper
Gooper_Blooper

Fingers crossed for FSM and Xenu, let's do this.

sircyrus
sircyrus

Lost a lot of respect for Hi-Rez gained through Tribes due to this. People need to stop being hypocritical when it comes to religions. It is simply foolish to be worried over upsetting or insulting the Abrahamic religions, while shrugging off insulting other religions. They could have easily added Michael (archangel) into the mix.

 

And calling Moses and Mohammed peaceful? Mohammed led a holy war, and Moses began a genocide.

exedeath
exedeath

Come on guys. They are saying that they will only use fictional characters with awesome powers. I am sure that walking on water might be useful for running away from a fight, but Jesus has no combat potential. lets have a mock battle.

Jesus turns water into wine.

Zeus laughs.

Jesus runs across a lake.

Zeus pierces him with a thunderbolt.

Jesus respawns 3 days later.

Honestly christianity has the worst fictional characters for a game revolving around combat. Also Thanatos2k is retarded considering that Jesus was not in Persona 3. There was however a version of him in Nocturne.

Rayzakk
Rayzakk

Wow what a bunch of religious haters here on gamespot.  I'm sure though you consider yourselves very openminded though with your hate of others beliefs.  BTW there will be no responses to anyone's vitiate.

gib_goodwin
gib_goodwin

@demonhunter127 im a christian too i think it would be cool dominating as God but look at things from a gamers perspective, if God can do everything, is invincible, fire on the earths while flooding the fields, we as christians need to face the fact that God is just too damn op to put into game

isaac_argesmith
isaac_argesmith

@krolm  The thing is that they're called myths because people still believe in them where as Greek, Pagan, and other myths are called myths because no one believes in them anymore. Those religions like Christianity, Hindu, Islam, Judaism, and ext however are still believed in by many people and as such are not myth to everyone.

krolm
krolm

@Destrond Paganism is in it, thats what greek and norse religions were known as that.

Destrond
Destrond

 @karan_k19 

But the reality is that Christianity, Islam, and Jewish are all rooted to the same person and therefore technically all share the same god with different points of views. Besides, they can't really put anything spectacular in. I mean with christians, they have god and jesus, with jews, its god, and with islam, its god...and i guess mohammed, even though hes just a prophet. 

 

From a developers standpoint, why copy and paste

TheMidKnight
TheMidKnight

@params7 I think it's because they aren't also adding in Christianity, Jewish, or Muslim deities or mythological figures. They're hiding behind a lame "because gameplay!" excuse, when anyone with a brain can tell the real reason is because they're afraid of pissing off Christians, Jews, and Muslims. 

 Basically, if you're gonna make a game about gods, then go all in or don't make a game about gods.

Philly1UPer
Philly1UPer

 @Jebril hapfft. Show me physical evidence that isnt a book written from someone else's perspective and ill be a little more open.

edant79
edant79

 @Jebril  Yeah, actually this place is pretty tame compared to most on the net.

Hatemachine25
Hatemachine25

 @Jebril Better here than in anything that might actually matter, like a newspaper, or on television, we all know those to be bastions of truth and intelligence, now if you'll excuse me worlds dumbest criminals is about to come on.

LesserAngel
LesserAngel

 @exedeath Just one name for you, Michael. Nobody said it has to be the main religious figures.

raziel2kain
raziel2kain

 @maxwell97 He did so without a drop of blood. people of Mecca, they themselves wanted it. I call this peaceful, comparing to all bloodshed and murders done by all conqueres throughout the history.

robotopbuddy
robotopbuddy moderator moderator

@krolm @Destrond  Technically, paganism is generally used to describe any non-abrahamic religion..and even more ironically, many abrahamic religions such as Christianity celebrate what were originally pagan holidays. Even the equinoxes and solstices were pagan holidays (though they have a more factual meaning), much the like the festival of the dead, now known as hallowe'en is a pagan holiday..most other holidays also have pagan links, though most have been long since forgotten by the general populace.

Ultimately, not including paganist traits of some form would be incredibly difficult when using any sort of religion/mythology in a game.

TheMidKnight
TheMidKnight

@Destrond @karan_k19 Which is total BS. The Christian religion alone has 7 Archangels (which are basically as powerful as any Greek god, even if they aren't called as such), all of whom have very interesting looks and roles. The fact of the matter is, Karan is right. They felt that pissing off ~1,000,000 people was better than pissing off ~2,000,000,000.

TheMidKnight
TheMidKnight

@LesserAngelExactly! The Archangels would make for some awesome characters. 

 And, I know it's a joke @exedeath, but Jesus would actually make for a cool healing character. They could even make it so that he has really good healing, but does no combat damage. So he'd be totally passive healing class. That way, they stick true to the figures lore, but also have an interesting character to play as.

Darth_Tyrranus
Darth_Tyrranus

 @raziel2kain

 He may have conquered Mecca without violence, but there are PLENTY of other times when he did use violence in order to promote his idealogy.

edant79
edant79

 @DrKill09  Thank you Dr. Kill for your words of wisdom...

 

...but you realize how close you sound like one, right?