The controversy began back in April when Hanuman: Boy Warrior, a PlayStation 2 game in which players control the Hindu deity Hanuman, was released in India. Although noteworthy as the first console game developed entirely by an Indian company it apparently doesn't have much else going for it. Reviews of the game have been harshly negative; Tech2.com, a technology site based in India, said, "The game boasts of being the first ever Indian game to be released on the PlayStation 2; if Indian developers are going to develop this sort of crap for consoles, let's hope it's the last."
The fact that it sucks didn't mollify Zed and other Hindu leaders around the world, however, who called for Sony to pull the game from shelves and issue an apology to Hindus for "trivializing the highly revered deity of Hinduism." Sony agreed to investigate the matter and respond to Hindu leaders "as soon as possible" but apparently declined to halt the game's sale and Zed is now saying that because of its "callous" handling of the affair, he is giving the company a deadline to either resolve the matter or face further, more tangible action from the Hindu community.
"Despite communication between Sony officials and Hindu leaders, the issue had not been resolved yet," Zed said in a press release issued yesterday. "If nothing was heard by Hindu leaders from Sony by May 21, then all the protesting Hindu groups and leaders would re-evaluate the protest and announce the future course, which might include calling for boycott of Sony products world over by Hindus and other like-minded people and supporters."
Whether any resolution to the matter short of absolute compliance would satisfy Zed is unknown, as is the impact a worldwide boycott by Hindus would have, and in spite of the threat banners of Hanuman: Boy Warrior still feature prominently on the PlayStation India website, The only thing that is clear, really, is the fact that an obscure little game released exclusively for the Indian market has attracted international attention as a result of the outcry against it. Sound familiar?