Video games that almost caused riots


With games that allow you to murder, swear, have sex, and do other adult-themed activities comes uproar from the conservative sectors of society.

The games featured in this article caused a bit more than an uproar – they were stopped from being published, banned due to their content, or slated by large parts of society.

Here are some of the most controversial video games ever put into production.


In 2002 Acclaim Entertainment released BMX XXX for Xbox, GameCube, and PS2. The game was primarily a BMX game, but included interesting features – such as topless female characters and clips of strippers showing us how to use a pole.

At the time of release, nudity, and sex was not common place in video games and BMX XXX was criticised for its content. The game only sold 100,000, and Acclaim filed for bankruptcy in 2004.


Manhunt was not for the faint of heart. Developed by Rockstar Games and released in 2003, the game’s gore and violence was unmatched. Naturally, Manhunt came under severe criticism from various groups, but it was the admission by Rockstar staff that they felt uncomfortable working on the game that caused controversy in the industry.

The game led to legislation being passed in the US which made it criminal to sell “adult-themed” games to minors.

Thrill Kill

Thrill Kill never made it to full release, with the game being cancelled at the end of development for the PlayStation. The game allowed four players to fight at the same time in the same room, which was a first at the time, but its hyper-violent and sexual themes led to the title’s cancellation.

With moves like the “Bitch Slap’ and “Swallow This”, EA decided they did not want their name on Thrill Kill. The game was released online by the developers, and can be played with an emulator.


In 1993 the FPS that changed the world was released. Instead of praising the game that would help shape the industry, Doom was slated for its high levels of violence and Satanic imagery. Doom, at times called a “mass murder simulator”, fortunately survived the controversy.

Following the Columbine school shooting in the States in 1999, Doom was blamed, in part, for inspiring Dyan Klebold to take part in the attack.


RapeLay was released in Japan in 2006 and, if you can believe it, followed the story of a man who stalked a woman and her daughters and then raped them. RapeLay was banned in Argentina, Australia, Malaysia, and Thailand for its “graphic depictions or glorification of sexual violence”.

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Video games that almost caused riots

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