Since the story was published earlier this morning, Microsoft has acted swiftly to remove the game from the store. A Microsoft spokesperson also provided the comment below:
This content violated our Store policies
and has been removed. Users can report inappropriate content on the game product page or by sending a report directly to firstname.lastname@example.org
Back at last year's GDC, Microsoft announced
the Xbox Creators Collection, a way for indie developers to publish their games onto the Xbox One and Windows 10 stores "with a simplified certification process and no concept approval". Separated from the main store, but still featured quite prominently on the "Games" tab, the Creators Collection features its fair share of shovelware, but equally offers a large selection of free games that are all accompanied by clear age ratings, giving developers access to over "50 million active Xbox Live users".
Recently a new game listing for The Suicide Forest
, a game which distastefully parodies the well publicised Logan Paul video uploaded to YouTube, appeared in the Creators Collection. Earlier this month, Logan Paul, a popular YouTube content creator, was criticised heavily for his involvement in a video in which he and his friends came across a deceased person in Japan’s Aokigahara forest. The forest is sometimes called the “suicide forest” due to its history as a setting in which people often take their own lives. Paul and his friends spent much of the video making light of the situation and even cracked jokes about the tragedy.
Such a title highlights the dangers of the Creators Collection's "simple certification" and "no concept approval" approach, especially considering the free to download game has been given a PEGI 3 age rating.
Playing as vlogger, you are going to explore the Aokigahara forest searching for bodies in order to get millions of views for your channel. The forest is full of dangers, so you gotta be careful, otherwise, you may become one of the bodies you came to film.
Whilst prominent Microsoft employees such as Major Nelson and AceyBongos have been quick to reply on Twitter
that the game's listing is being looked at, it certainly highlights the issues that games such as this can appear on the Xbox store in the first place.