The makers of a video game featuring a cartoon version of Kim Jong Un have decided to cancel their work, citing fears of a possible online attack “inspired” by a recent high-profile hack at Sony Pictures Entertainment allegedly in response to the studio’s film, "The Interview," which depicted a plot to assassinate the North Korean leader.
"Glorious Leader! is a satirical 16-bit run 'n' gun," according to the developer, and it allows users, playing as Kim Jong Un, to “fight your way through a convoy of Americans who can only be up to no good,” sometimes while riding a unicorn.
Atlanta-based developers Moneyhorse Games debuted their project on crowdfunding site Kickstarter.com in December 2014. By early January, the team had raised $16,815 from 570 backers, but decided to halt development after hackers allegedly attacked their files.
“The hackers destroyed data pertaining to Glorious Leader! and other projects we had in development and locked us out of our own computers and website,” the creators wrote in a Jan. 7 update, noting that they believe it “was inspired by the larger attack on Sony.”
Hackers accessed and shared massive amounts of confidential data from employees at Sony on Nov. 24, and threatened further action if the studio released “The Interview.” Although Sony executives initially cancelled the film, they later released it online and in some theaters after U.S. President Barack Obama threatened a “proportional response” against the North, which has been accused by the FBI of supporting the hack.
On Tuesday, North Korea’s deputy ambassador to the United Nations publicly denied his country’s connection to the high-profile hack, noting that “it is out of sense to do that, and we very want United States to provide evidence,” according to CNN.
During the initial stages of the game's development, in May 2014, Moneyhorse CEO Jeff Miller had told the Guardian that the project was inspired by his own fascination with North Korea, and hoped that his company could “carefully walk the line of satire without being an apologist for the regime.”