The Brazilian government has opened an investigation into BS Studios, the developers of the hate speech-laden videogame Bolsomito 2K18. The Public Prosecutor’s Office of the Federal District and Territories (MPDFT) announced the decision Wednesday, citing the game’s “clear intention to harm candidates for the Presidency of the Republic and thereby embarrass the 2018 elections.”
The self-described satirical game, which is available on Steam, puts players in control of Bolsomito (a character clearly based on controversial Brazilian presidential candidate Jair Bolsonaro). Players are in charge of killing protestors, homosexuals, feminists and people of color in violent fashion to stop those “that intend to establish a criminal ideological dictatorship in the country” and earn points. It currently has a very positive user review score, with most reviews including pro-Bolsonaro rhetoric.
Brazil has recently been embroiled in its most contentious presidential race to date, with Bolsonaro, affectionately nicknamed the “Brazilian Trump,” holding a healthy lead in the polls. The game’s titular lead is eerily similar to his real-life inspiration. Bolsonaro has gone on record as advocating violence against homosexuals and other marginalized populations, promoting increased use of lethal force by law enforcement and publicly supported the idea of dictatorship. He also really likes making finger-gun gestures, much like Bolsomito’s depiction in the game’s logo.
Bolsomito 2K18 appears to be the sophomore effort for BS Studios after a generic platformer. While little is known about the studio, it does display a close association with another small indie developer, Dave Microwave Games, a studio that seems to deal almost exclusively in trolly horror games that co-opt licensed cartoon characters.
The MPDFT said it will request that Valve stop sales of the game on Steam and turn over BS Studios’ registration data as part of their investigation. The MPDFT’s Center for Production, Analysis, Diffusion and Information Security hopes the information will aid their inquiry into the individuals behind the BS Studios name. The game is still available for purchase as of this writing.