#BlackLivesMatter Game Banned From Google Play For Hate Speech
(Last Updated On: September 23, 2016)

Limited Software’s #BlackLivesMatter tower defense game was barred from both itch.io and Google Play, both services denied the game distribution rights on their platforms on the grounds of “hate speech”.

Limited Software received an e-mail from Google Play indicating that the game was barred from the app store for Android devices on the grounds of violating their terms and conditions relating to hate speech in apps. An image of the e-mail can be viewed below.

According to the developers in a piece that was published on Medium, it’s stated that the problem is attempts to censor free speech, writing…

“Big companies with social and political agendas are peer-pressuring every other platform into adopting their double-standards of protecting some users and punishing others, declaring your art, your opinions, your honesty “hateful.”


“If you take a position that these companies don’t like — or anger a user who profits by self-victimizing — you’ll be labeled a “troll” so that you’re banned, silenced, and ignored.”

They explain that Google’s nebulous definition of “hate speech” on their policy page didn’t clearly define what the problem was with #BlackLivesMatter: The Game. For reference, here’s what it states on the Google Play policy page…

“We don’t allow apps that advocate against groups of people based on their race or ethnic origin, religion, disability, gender, age, nationality, veteran status, sexual orientation, or gender identity.”

According to Limited Software, they argue that the game features two white enemies and one black enemy and that all of the dialogue from the characters happened to be lifted right from comments made by #BlackLivesMatter advocates on Twitter. It was also mentioned that the game’s rating was suggested to be “Teen” in regions outside of Australia, and R-18+ within Australia.

Google gave Limited Software the option of appealing the decision, where it’s stated in the medium piece…

“They offered to let us appeal the decision to ban the game, but something told me that the appeal wasn’t going to have much luck. And it didn’t. They just reiterated the same vague thing.”

I did reach out to Google’s support to ask about why the game was removed from the Google Play store on the grounds of hate speech. I was informed by a representative that she didn’t know why the game was removed from the Google Play store because there was no record showing the cause of the removal. I was informed by the Google Play representative that the case was being forwarded to the Google Play developers, who would try to offer a more detailed explanation on the game’s removal, and that they would respond within 24 to 48 hours. That was two days ago on September 22nd.

Google has yet to follow up with a response regarding the removal of the game from the Google Play store.

I did manage to reach out to Limited Software about the issue, asking about whether or not they had any interaction with Google Play support before the incident of having the game removed, and outside of the game being banned it was mentioned that they had not had any interaction with the staff. They also mentioned that they were willing to give Google Play a try for the #BlackLivesMatter game because they heard that Apple’s iTunes was a lot more strict regarding content.

Limited Software made it where you can download a free version of the game for PC from over on the official website, since itch.io also banned the game from being hosted on their service for the same reasons as Google.

I did manage to get in a little play time with the title, which you can view below.

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Billy has been rustling Jimmies for years covering video games, technology and digital trends within the electronics entertainment space. The GJP cried and their tears became his milkshake. Need to get in touch? Try the Contact Page.

  • fnd

    Resident evil 5 is way better.

  • Alistair

    * Apple could still refuse to unbanned the game even if the riots has die down, in fact i Don’t think apple would ever unbanned the game to much raw emotion, and that the fucking issue the only persons that it glad about this is regression lefts.

    If a certain event stops a game, a program or make retared changes to the law are crazy. And that the fear i have about this.

  • Alistair

    Oh please not this cant play a certain game ATM, we have that here in uk when a certain event dictate when a tv program to be delayed, even though the program Didn’t have the reflect real lives of people as it was a drama.

    Involving a weapon a “Knife” also x-Factor ITV Had a song change because of a certain event.

    Now killing is bad really bad and sad but it does lead to kneejerk reaction.

    The program will still come a week, a fornight and the soreness of losing someone will still hurt even after a week a fornight etc.

    So what should be done? Scrapped it altogether because that song in x-Factor never happen, delay it till next year or 6 months.

    Infact the fear is the program wont ever been seen, you cant dictate what programs to be delayed it the worse kind of censorship.

    Something bad happen lets brush this under the rug. When fucking tv makers make programs they cant foresee what going to happen tomorrow next week. When making programs.

    So are we going to go the extra mile and banned knifes, guns, or any weapon in shows, games because some-One died in real life.

    Back to this hot topic, the game not right for this timeframe so when will be the right time to unbanned the game? If they gonna do it thought.

    Okay how about this im playing devil advcate here on a sunday criminal girls 2 been delayed due to some-one been killed by misuse of BSM the family upset of course you see what im saying its stupid mindset.

    What ever happen of some-One passing, our lives moves on Not stopped put on hold because some-One got killed it doesn’t need some-one to get murdered to effect the delay its one of many reasons.

    I say its censorship okay a temporary one or it could be a other other one.

  • C G Saturation

    Ask Google why Soros isn’t banned from the West for inciting all this shit, even though he’s banned in Russia for the same reasons. Google will probably ban/block you in response.

    • durka durka

      man this conspiracy theory on soros is a bit too much. Anyway NGO is Greece, italy, the jungle in calais are inciting the refugees causing problems. Why dont those ngos go to middle east and africa i wonder.

  • scemar

    so if portraying black lives matter is hate speech does that mean the actual movement is a hate mob already?

    or are they still protestors of peace?

    • “or are they still protestors of peace?”

      Of course they are, they just test glass windows to see if they’re shatter-proof, test things for fire resistance and test white people’s self-defence abilities

  • Sevuz

    Well let’s see. We have a game with a WHITE COP shooting BLACK PEOPLE. I think with all the tension in USA atm, the Police and WHITE people in general has no need for a game like this right now.

    • durka durka

      thats like asking for it really.

      • Sevuz

        Yeah. I know some will storm in (in not already) and claim THIS IS AN ATTACK FREEDOM! Which it’s really not. It’s googles way to say *This ain’t the right time for this*

        • DrearierSpider

          Why should Google be the one to decide that? Why not put it on the store and let the market speak for itself?

          • Sevuz

            They fear bad PR. This would all over the news if they allowed it to stay on. The outlets enjoys to rip the big companies a new when they can. Unless they yearly give each other brown nose points.

  • Anything can be deemed as “hate speech” now. Terrifying.

    • Gerg Arata

      Think the quotes and content were pretty cut and dry hate speech there…

    • durka durka

      Someone made a game that a cop is shooting blacks who say black lives matter and you expect it not to take it down? It might not be hate speech but it is definitely provoking and playing with fire at a time that police killing blacks is a hot issue.

      If they did not take it down they would be in trouble let alone keeping it. Seriously you guys are asking for trouble the way you provoke people. Dont give me any shit about hur dur stupid leftie and hur dur free speech.

      Who on his right mind would make a game that is about a cop killing black people during this time? WHOOOO??

      It is grade A shitlording and you expect people to take you seriously?

  • Alistair

    So let me guess some-one has twisted what is considered a hate speech.

    And banned a game censorship anyone.

    So what consider a hate speech or better still a hate crime if I avoid a person that I dont like say a SJW & there are triggered would that consider a hate crime.

    Because I just twisted what a hate crime could be and it not there are people out there that like to keep to themselves & that’s not against the law they don’t need to be with people they can avoid people too.

    Saying to you FUCK YOU isn’t a hate speech too or any offensive hurtful words. So google who is on a power trip ATM with YouTube heroes.

    Consider black lives matter a hate speech. Then the websites will have to be arrested for using black lives matters as hate speech.

    • Arbitrary

      “I Hate my life, I hate pizzas taste like shit, I hate sjws that ruin my hobby etc etc.”

      And are you doing anything about it?

      • Alistair

        Well I love pizzas really, and my life is quite good considering, as for SJWs I hate them so much.

        I use them as examples even I hate billy. You see it easy to twist the agenda.

        hate speech and hate crime is Varge anyways apart from death threats and rape threats those are hate crimes.

        the caption in that thumbnail says bad cops that also not a hate speech.