(Pocket-lint) - PC game Hatred has had a controversial start to its short life so far. It has become one of the most sought-after games on Steam's Greenlight programme, which allows users to vote whether a title should be sold on the digital download store, yet was pulled from that service after serious concerns over its content.
Now it's back, seemingly with the blessing of Steam owner Valve's managing director and co-founder Gabe Newell - which has raised more eyebrows than if it had stayed on the service in the first place.
Why? Hatred is a game about mass murdering civilians that evokes memories of the Hungerford massacre, Columbine High School massacre and Anders Breivik's ruthlessly planned slaughter of 69 people on the Norweigan island of Utøya. Considering there have also been other recent, shocking events in Canada and Pakistan, the timing of Newell's support has also been called into question.
The game itself, in the words of Polish developer Destructive Creations, is an "isometric shooter with disturbing atmosphere of mass killing". You play the antagonist who is "full of hatred for humanity" and must "seek for victims" in New York. That means any civilians you can find although, says the developer, not children or animals.
"The question you may ask is: why do they do this? These days, when a lot of games are heading to be polite, colourful, politically correct and trying to be some kind of higher art, rather than just an entertainment – we wanted to create something against trends," claims Destructive Creations on its website.
"Here comes our game, which takes no prisoners and makes no excuses."
Steam had originally taken the game down after deciding that its subject matter was not suitable for inclusion, which lead the developer to respond by saying that both Postal - an age-old game that also promoted violence against civilians - and Manhunter were still available.
The Steam community, which had previously upvoted the title to seventh in the charts, were outraged, leading to Newell's response.
His email explaining why the game was being reinstated was posted on the developer's website. "Yesterday I heard that we were taking Hatred down from Greenlight. Since I wasn't up to speed, I asked around internally to find out why we had done that," it reads.
"It turns out that it wasn't a good decision, and we'll be putting Hatred back up. My apologies to you and your team. Steam is about creating tools for content creators and customers.
"Good luck with your game."
Perhaps the best thing to have come from all of this though is a spoof version of the Hatred trailer by tennis superstar Björn Borg's own fashion label. It is soon to release its own promotional game First-Person Lover and its punchline is one to behold.
What do you think about Hatred? Should it be available for all? Or should it be taken down? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below...