Google removes controversial game ‘Slavery Simulator’ from app store after widespread criticism in Brazil

Google on Wednesday removed a controversial game from its app store that triggered outrage in Brazil.

The game dubbed as ‘Slavery Simulator’ allowed players to buy and sell enslaved Black characters.

Launched by Magnus Games on 20 April, the game was downloaded more than 1,000 times before being removed, as per local media reports.

According to CNN Brasil, the country’s Public Prosecutor’s Office launched a probe into the reason why the game was made available for download on the Google play store.

The authorities requested “specific information about the game” from Google, adding a “great number of racist comments” were also identified in the Google platform.

Within the game, users could “exchange, buy and sell slaves,” images show. “Choose one of two objectives at the start of the slave owner simulator: the Path of the Tyrant or the Path of the Liberator. Become a wealthy slave owner or achieve the abolition of slavery,” said the game’s description.

According to local media reports, in one of the modes that were offered to the players, the game said, “Use slaves for your own enrichment. Prevent the abolition of slavery and accumulate wealth.”

As per the images of the game, the prompts of the user included, “Slave level: the highest the level, the highest the profit the slave will bring,” and “You need guards! You have slaves but no one is guarding them. Without guards, the slaves will run away or rebel. Hire some fighters. Usually, 1 guard is enough for 30 slaves,” showed the screengrabs of the game.

Netizens react

The game took social media by storm in no time with several users condemning the developers of the game and tech giant Google.

Multiple users took to Twitter and criticized the game. 

“The normalization of violence against Black people is so wide than then things like this happen,” Levi Kaique Ferreira, an influencer activist and professor, wrote on Twitter.

“Our country was built with the blood of the Black population. People were killed, tortured. A “Slavery Simulator” is not a theme for games,” lawmaker Denise Pessoa posted on Twitter.

Another lawmaker, Orlando Silva, made a formal complaint to the Public Prosecutor against the “macabre” game. “This is apology to crime, this is recreational racism, they have to answer criminally,” he said on Twitter.

Google, in a statement to CNN Brasil, said, “We have a robust set of policies that are designed to keep users safe and that all developers must follow. We don’t allow apps that promote violence or incite hatred against individuals or groups based on race or ethnic origin, or that depict or promote gratuitous violence or other dangerous activities. Anyone who believes they have found an app that violates our rules can file a report. When we identify a policy violation, we take appropriate action”.

At the time of removal, the game had a rating of four out of five stars, with one review reading: “Great game to pass the time. But I think it lacked more torture options.”

(With inputs from agencies)

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