A spat broke out today on Twitter today when games marketplace Indiegala posted an Islamophobic image in hopes of selling more copies of a first-person shooter.
The game in question, Insurgency, is a tactical shooter from New World Interactive. It’s akin to games like Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, but with a more hardcore style of gameplay. The development team prides itself on having a military simulation-grade presentation of close-quarters small arms battles.
The game pits irregular Middle Eastern fighters and Western forces against one another. Apparently Indiegala, an online storefront for Steam keys with close to 500,000 Twitter followers, thought that would be a good enough reason to post this tweet, captured here by an internet archive.
The tweet, while not widely circulated even late into the day, nonetheless drew criticism.
I guess I'd personally recommend not do business with digital stores that post Islamophobic memes to promote their indie bundles. https://t.co/dLy1Dir0CU— Rami Ismail (@tha_rami) December 22, 2016
The meme that the tweet is based on comes from 4chan, and originated around 2014. It’s part of a small family of Islamophobic memes that riff on similar Islamic customs. Halal is a term used to designate food and drink, as well as other items and actions, that are allowable within a strict adherence with Islamic law.
Shortly after learning of the tweet sent out to promote Insurgency, the team at New World asked that it be taken down.
@IndieGala Remove this tweet. We do NOT accept you promoting our game in this offensive manner.— Insurgency (@insurgencygame) December 22, 2016
We’ve reached out to the developers and the marketplace for a formal statement.
Update: Reached for comment, New World creative director Andrew Spearin said his organization “had no prior knowledge of Indiegala's intent to publish an offensive meme and game review to promote Insurgency. When it came to our attention, we immediately requested Indiegala remove the promotions."