Officials from controversial Christian game developer Left Behind Games (Left Behind: Eternal Forces) have announced that senior management at the company have accepted the resignation of senior vice president Jeffrey S. Frichner, with CEO Troy Lyndon also demanding the resignation of the company’s other three board members.
Left Behind Games was created in 2001, for the purpose of developing games based on the Left Behind series of novels, which depict an Evangelical Christian view of the end times. Left Behind: Eternal Forces was criticized by Christian, Jewish and Muslim groups because of its relatively violent RTS theming, with calls on major chains such as Wal-Mart not to carry the title.
In February, the developer reported a $4.1 million loss for its third quarter ended December 31st, 2006, on revenues of $2.2 million for the first six weeks of the game’s sales. The exact reasons for Lyndon’s call for additional resignations has not been stated, nor the likelihood of the board members agreeing to the demands.
I guess not many people actually wanted to buy what they were trying to sell. But maybe that’s understandable, given what they’re trying to sell. There’s a whole eight-part series of posts about the game at Talk To Action that pretty much spells it out.
Imagine: you are a foot soldier in a paramilitary group whose purpose is to remake America as a Christian theocracy, and establish its worldly vision of the dominion of Christ over all aspects of life. You are issued high-tech military weaponry, and instructed to engage the infidel on the streets of New York City. You are on a mission – both a religious mission and a military mission — to convert or kill Catholics, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, gays, and anyone who advocates the separation of church and state – especially moderate, mainstream Christians. Your mission is “to conduct physical and spiritual warfare”; all who resist must be taken out with extreme prejudice. You have never felt so powerful, so driven by a purpose: you are 13 years old. You are playing a real-time strategy video game whose creators are linked to the empire of mega-church pastor Rick Warren, best selling author of The Purpose Driven Life.
Gee. Maybe there wasn’t as large a market for that as they thought. I mean, we keep hearing how many millions of copies the series has sold, but how much of that is people buying each book in the series? Makes for fewer readers, and even fewer game buyers.
Of maybe it was just the lackluster graphics once you got past the trailer, the clunky user interface, or the eye-roll inducing voice acting.
In video games you can commit virtual sin by murdering and sexually assaulting people. But if it’s sin to do in real life is it a sin to do it in a video game? I think if you’re a believer you really have to consider that question.
Having played through the demo, I can tell you, if it ain’t a sin it ought to be.
But if I find the game in the discount bin, I’ll pick it up anyway. Anything that bad, or sinful, has got to be good.