Earlier on Wednesday, we received a press release from Hindu statesman Rajan Zed who said that Hindu followers were upset over the use of Hindu gods such as Kali, Vamana and Agni in the upcoming MOBA from Hi-Rez Studios called SMITE. We followed up with the studio's Chief Operating Officer, Todd Harris to get their response to Zed's request to remove the Hindu deities from the game.
"Reimagining Hindu scriptures and deities for commercial or other agenda was not okay as it hurt the devotees," Zed argued in a statement released. "Controlling and manipulating goddess Kali and other Hindu deities with a joystick/ button/keyboard/mouse was denigration. Goddess Kali and other Hindu deities were meant to be worshipped in temples and home shrines and not meant to be reduced to just a “character” in a video game to be used in combat in the virtual battleground."
In response, Hi-Rez Studios' Harris said, "SMITE includes deities inspired from a diverse and ever expanding set of pantheons including Greek, Chinese, Egyptian, and Norse. Hinduism, being one of the world's oldest, largest and most diverse traditions, also provides inspiration toward deities in our game. In fact, given Hinduism's concept of a single truth with multiple physical manifestations one could validly interpret ALL the gods within SMITE to be Hindu. And all gods outside of SMITE as well. Ponder that for a minute. Anyway, going forward SMITE will include even more deities, not fewer."
Update: Rajan Zed has responded to Hi-Rez Studios.