‘Slavery Simulator’ game removed from Google app store

Written by on May 26, 2023

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The Google Play Store no longer features the game “Slavery Simulator,” which allowed users to “exchange, buy and sell” enslaved Black characters.

Brazil’s Public Prosecutor’s Office said on Wednesday that it is looking into how the game ended up on the Play Store in the first place. According to CNN, Google withdrew the app, created by Magnus Games, after the platform and the game developers found themselves at the center of harsh criticism from social media users in Brazil.

“Our country was built with the blood of the Black population,” lawmaker Denise Pessoa shared on Twitter, CNN reported. “People were killed, tortured. A ‘Slavery Simulator’ is not a theme for games.”

Slave game Google app store
The Google Play Store no longer features “Slavery Simulator,” a game that allowed users to buy and sell enslaved Black characters. (Photo: Adobe Stock)

Prosecutors asked Google for detailed information on the game, noting that a “great number of racist comments” had been found as well on the platform.

The “Slavery Simulator” app was released on April 20 and downloaded over 1000 times before its removal on Wednesday.

Images from the game show that players could “choose one of two objectives at the start of the slave owner simulator: the Path of the Tyrant or the Path of the Liberator,” according to CNN. The game’s description added that players could either become wealthy enslavers or work to abolish slavery.

Users received instructions to use enslaved people for their enrichment, to stop the abolition of slavery and to generate wealth.

The game continuously prompted players with messages such as “You need guards!” to prevent the enslaved people from running away or rebelling and “Slave level: the highest the level, the highest profit the slave will bring.” 

The game’s screenshots also tell users to hire fighters, noting that one guard is typically sufficient for 30 enslaved people.

Lawmaker Orlando Silva filed an official complaint with the public prosecutor about the “macabre” game. He wrote on Twitter: “This is an apology to crime, this is recreational racism, and they have to answer criminally,” according to CNN.

Google said in a statement that it has regulations all developers must abide by, which aim to keep users safe.

“We don’t allow apps that promote violence or incite hatred against individuals or groups based on race or ethnic origin,” the platform notes, “or that depict or promote gratuitous violence or other dangerous activities,” CNN reported. 

The application had a rating of “all ages.” Google explains on its website that this category’s rating for Brazil means the content is appropriate for all ages but may occasionally have elements with a minimal impact, “such as childish violence.”

The app received an overall 4-star rating out of 5, with one user, who gave a 5-star review, commenting that the game was great for passing the time but needed more torture methods, such as an option to flog the enslaved person.

Another reviewer said it was shocking that such content was online and accessible to children.

Magnus Games stated within the app that it was solely for entertainment purposes. 

“Our studio condemns slavery in any form,” the developer added, CNN reported. “All game content is fictional and not tied to specific historical events. All coincidences are accidental.”

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