Since the early days of video game industry, there have been many controversies related to violence in video games, explicit graphics, sexual themes and industry practices.

20 Biggest Gaming Controversies: 1989 to 2009

1980s or earlierEdit

Games like Halloween and Texas Chainsaw Massacre for the Atari 2600 and Death Race for the arcades were banned from several stores because of it's violent nature and ultimately led to the financial ruin of its creators (Wizard Video Games).


Gamefan mistake

GameFan is sabotaged

  • In the September 1995 issue of GameFan, someone manipulated an article to contain drug references, profanity and several derogatory comments about Japanese people (naming them "Japs", a racial insult/term). The editor promptly issued an apology to the press stating the magazine was somehow sabotaged.
  • Mortal Kombat use of extreme violence and blood leads U.S. senate hearings and results in the creation of the ESRB rating system.


  • In 2001, Daily Radar was sued by Nintendo for "copyright infringement, trademark infringement, and general willful and unlawful conduct" because they published a walkthrough Pokemon trainer's guide and possibly other articles.[1]
  • Jeff Gerstmann, former editorial director of the gaming website GameSpot, was dismissed from his position GameSpot rumored to be as a result of external pressure (pulling thousands of dollars in advertisements) from Eidos Interactive, the studio behind Kane & Lynch: Dead Men which Gerstmann had previously given a Fair or undesirable. The 2007 controversy sparked outrage among fans and journalists and resulted in several more GameSpot editors leaving the site.[2]
  • In mid-June 2008, Lost in Limbo featured artwork and level design copied from several games, including Oblivion, Unreal Tournament, and Diablo. The publisher immediately stopped distribution of the title once they became aware of the issue. [3]
  • In early 2008, Fox News bashed Mass Effect for showing a "full digital nudity and sex" scene in a video game.[4] Despite the controversy, there were no modifications or reassessment of the Mature rating.
  • Arguably the biggest controversy of the decade is the Hot Coffee modification in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. The minigame controversy concerns a normally inaccessible minigame in the. Public awareness of the existence of the minigame arrived with the release of the Hot Coffee mod, created for the PC version. This mod enables access to the minigame. The minigame portrays simulated sexual intercourse between the main character and any of the main character's girlfriends. The objective for the player is to try to improve the relationship between the two. The name of the mod is derived from the girlfriends' offer for the main character to come into their homes for "coffee" — a euphemism for sex.
  • Six Days in Fallujah - Konami apparently pulled the plug on Iraq-based shooter, Six Days in Fallujah, following intense public criticism. The third-person simulation put players in control of a US Marine, taking part in the historic battle of Fallujah.[5]

See alsoEdit

External linksEdit

Video game industry
Sales trends · Holidays · Price cuts · Launch price · Market research · Fiscal reports · Video game costs · Video game delays · Leaks
Dev kit · Attach rate · Gaming conventions · Recession · Rumors · Sales bumps · Casual and hardcore games · Game piracy · Grey market · Controversies · Developer disputes · Video game research · Game development
NPD sales figures · Costs (Most expensive games) · Best-selling games

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