Iran’s National Foundation for Computer Games has banned indie game 1979 Revolution: Black Friday for presenting “false and distorted information” regarding the Iranian Revolution.
The game, based on real events, has been presented as an “authentic” and “historically accurate” experience. According to developers iNK Stories, the game is “based on first hand testimonies of freedom fighters, witnesses and casualties” of the Iranian Revolution. Iran however, is having none of it, as they’ve set out to both block online sites selling the game and round up illegally distributed copies in Iranian cities.
According to Tehran Times, the NFCG Director Hassan Karimi condemned the game as “anti-Iranian”. In the press release concerning the banning, Karimi makes some rather curious claims, such as alleging that the game has “not been well received by gamers”. Karimi makes no references or sources when saying this, and to put it plainly, he appears to be wrong. As of the time of this writing, the game sits on Steam with an 87 percent positive rating scored by owners of the game and on Metacritic with a score of 81, scored by critics. Even the User Score on Metacritic is rather supportive of the game, at 8.0.
Karimi goes on to say that the game gives incorrect information to gamers, that it will “poison the minds of the youth” and “damage their spirits”. He also states, paradoxically, that “Iranians will quickly realize the hostile intentions and objectives of the developer if they see the game.” If this were true, the game would clearly not have required a ban in the country. It would seem that the NFCG is paranoid of the exact opposite being true.
According to International Business Times, developer Navid Khonsari, however, is undeterred by the ban, which his team has been trying to combat. Furthermore, the game will see an iOS release on 16 June, making it playable on iPhone and iOS. An Android version is also planned for the future. With the jump to mobile devices, Khonsari believes that it will be easier for Iranians to access the game.
If you’re in LA and you’d like to give the game a shot, 1979 Revolution: Black Friday will be available at IndieCade Showcase, which you can read more about here.