Microsoft will remove a Logan Paul-inspired game mocking suicide from its Xbox Live Creators Collection program, a representative confirmed to Polygon, after Xbox One owners expressed concern over and reported the content.
The Suicide Forest requires players to explore Japan’s famous Aokigahara Forest, colloquially known as “the suicide forest,” and search for the bodies of people who have killed themselves in order to boost views on their YouTube channels. Paul’s real-life actions inspired the game: The popular YouTube creator uploaded an offensive, controversial video of finding the body of a man who appeared to have committed suicide in the Aokigahara Forest.
“This content violates our Store policies and we’re in the process of removing it,” the Microsoft representative told Polygon. “Users can report inappropriate content on the game product page or by sending a report directly to firstname.lastname@example.org.”
Microsoft’s Xbox Store policies state that “app and associated metadata must not contain potentially sensitive or offensive content.” Additionally, Microsoft notes that “content may be considered sensitive or offensive in certain countries/regions because of local laws or cultural norms.” The Suicide Forest, which pokes fun at suicide and Paul’s disregard for human life, falls along these lines, and is in direct violation of Microsoft’s rules.
The game caught the attention of TT Games’ global community manager, Bear “Bearskopff” Parker, who tweeted about the free game on the marketplace. Larry Hryb, Xbox’s community manager, responded to Parker’s tweet to confirm that the team was looking into the situation.
Is this a joke? Just decided to check out the Creators Collection on the Xbox Marketplace and found a free, PEGI 3 rated game based on Logan Paul’s trip to Aokighara Forest... pic.twitter.com/i5XIW7OLvn— (@Bearskopff) January 30, 2018
This isn’t the first Paul-inspired game to hit marketplaces with little oversight. The Google Play Store hosted a similar game, Logan Paul: Suicide Forest Run, earlier this week. It was available to download for a short period of time before Google removed it.
“The main idea of my game was to show in a sarcastic way the reason Logan Paul went to the suicide forest,” the game’s creator, known as Simo Mediator, told the Daily Dot. “The real reason [was] to get views, [and this] was intended to be sort of a meme game.”
Critics have pointed to the lack of oversight on digital marketplaces like Google Play Store and Xbox Live Creators Collection as a reason why these rule-breaking games become available. When Microsoft first announced its Xbox self-publishing platform in 2017, the company confirmed that “while Microsoft won’t hold Creators Program developers to non-disclosure agreements or concept approvals, the company said it reserves the right to remove ‘harmful or inappropriate content’ from the Creators store.”
Update: A Microsoft representative confirmed to Polygon game was removed from the Xbox Live Creators Collection.