Capcom recently removed the Street Fighter 5 Thailand Temple Hideout stage from the store because of, as they put it, “unintentional religious references”. The stage was introduced not long ago, and it’s a faithful recreation of M. Bison’s old stage. The issue is that the music that plays in a stage that represents a Buddhist temple contains Islamic chanting as part of the music.
A short while ago, Capcom released the Thailand Temple Hideout stage DLC. The stage recreates the famous M. Bison stage from older Street Fighter games. To those not in the know, the setting is basically a Buddhist temple in, you guessed it, Thailand. However, they had to pull the stage fairly quickly, because fans reported that the background song contained an Islamic chant referencing Allah.
Now, it’s true that Thailand does have a percentage of Muslim people. However, the temple in question is quite clearly meant to be Buddhist, and this is what sparked the controversy and prompted Capcom to remove the stage from the store. An “emergency server maintenance” happened, and the stage currently plays the M. Bison theme from Street Fighter 5. Those that have purchased the Thailand stage before it got pulled could still play on it, of course. Once the edited version came out, the music switched on the already downloaded ones as well. Incidentally, before it was pulled, the stage cost 70.000 Fight Money, or four dollars.
Capcom released a statement addressing the issue with an appropriate apology:
The Street Fighter 5 development and operations team, as well as all of us at Capcom, have nothing but the utmost respect for all faiths and religions around the world, and we would like to sincerely apologise to anyone who was offended by this content.
Luckily for Capcom, this “issue” was caught in time, and the developer reacted quickly and adequately.