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Category: ReligionStupidity
Posted on: March 22, 2007 4:07 PM, by PZ Myers

What a shock—that awesome "Left Behind" video game in which you get to convert the infidel and slaughter the heathen has tanked, big time. They sunk $27 million into it, the stock had a peak of $18.70 $7.44, and now it's worth 18 cents.

I guess they didn't pray hard enough.

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Posted by: Louis | March 22, 2007 4:14 PM




Posted by: Karl Rove II | March 22, 2007 4:31 PM

Actually, it was the goat I sacrificed to Ba'al...seems Ba'al listens better than the Christian god.


Posted by: Geral | March 22, 2007 4:32 PM

They sunk $27 million into that? Wow.


Posted by: Kseniya | March 22, 2007 4:34 PM

We are pleased.


Posted by: Bruce Wilson | March 22, 2007 4:36 PM

Soon, the Left Behind Games co. may be worth the price of a Starbucks latte.

CEO Troy Lyndon says criticism of the game has only helped sales, so it must be that endorsements from "Focus On The Family" and other Christian right groups are suppressing sales of the game.


Posted by: Avery | March 22, 2007 4:41 PM

According to the Daily Kos article is peaked at $7.44 and was predicted it would peak at $18.70.

According to the 52-week high was $3.10.


Posted by: Christian Burnham | March 22, 2007 4:42 PM

I've got a different view to most here on this game.

I think it's fine for fundamentalist Christians to play a violent video game in which they get to kill whomever they want.

I don't want Christians to tell me which video games I should play- and in return, I'm not going to criticize their choice of entertainment.

It's only when the game spills over from entertainment to proselytizing and propagandizing that I get annoyed.

Other than that- I have no problems with them blasting heathens, homosexuals, atheists and other ne'er-dowells in the confines of a game. It doesn't seem morally any worse than Grand Theft Auto, except that GTA is a much better game.


Posted by: christian Burnham | March 22, 2007 4:47 PM

Also- I think it's funny that the fantasy of left-behind is exactly the same as my fantasy.

I'd love it if all the Jesus-worshippers ascended into the clouds one day.


Posted by: Louis | March 22, 2007 4:48 PM

No one said they shouldn't play it Christian, what people are saying is that they are amused to the point of schadenfreude that it didn't do well.

If these silly fantasists want to fictionalise their desires for world domination let them. We also get to have a good gut laugh when they lose buckets of cash doing it.



Posted by: Christian Burnham | March 22, 2007 4:59 PM

I agree. I haven't seen anyone on this page- or on the previous PZ page discussing this subject saying that this game should be banned.


Posted by: Duncan | March 22, 2007 5:01 PM

Damn! God told me to short the stock, but I didn't listen to Him.


Posted by: AJ Milne | March 22, 2007 5:02 PM

I'd love it if all the Jesus-worshippers ascended into the clouds one day.

I believe the bumper sticker is 'If the rapture comes, can I have your car?'

(I tried to give a link to one of these, but the anti-spam stuff seems to have objected. Can't say I blame it. I'm in an ongoing war with the freakin' spambots over at my own domain, too.)


Posted by: Louis | March 22, 2007 5:02 PM

'twould be a mite hypocritical wouldn't it! ;-)

"Ah loves mah GTA, but damn that Left Behind Game is too err violent..."

{someone whispers in ear}

"Ah mean, errr not violent, but errrr, discriminatory yeah....."

{someone whispers in ear again}

"Errrm, Ah mean it's ermm too, aw dang it, how much is a copy?"



Posted by: daenku32 | March 22, 2007 5:11 PM

Oh come on, this is obviously more proof of the EAC.


Posted by: Steven | March 22, 2007 5:11 PM



Posted by: Brian | March 22, 2007 5:19 PM

PZ: I noticed in your original post that you said you expected the fans of the left behind books to eat this up. Given the massive success of those books, what's your take on the company tanking?



Posted by: Steve_C | March 22, 2007 5:23 PM

You can't force a crappy game onto kids.


Posted by: Saint Gasoline | March 22, 2007 6:00 PM

What?! You mean that a terribly violent video game marketed at supposed peace-loving Christians didn't sell very well? You're kidding!


Posted by: Molly, NYC | March 22, 2007 6:19 PM

How do these people know that the Rapture didn't already happen, and they didn't make the cut?


Posted by: Dutch Vigilante | March 22, 2007 6:25 PM

It never matters if its a christian game, it matters if its a good game. This game is not good.

That and loading screens that deny evolution are silly.


Posted by: daenku32 | March 22, 2007 6:27 PM

I suppose it would be high irony if rapture did happen and took away all the customers...


Posted by: Flaky | March 22, 2007 6:29 PM

I don't think the game was all that violent actually. Haven't played it myself, but I believe The Register had a review of it (or some other site). The bottom line is that it's just a crappy game, which is why it didn't do well. If they really wasted 27 million on that, they'd really fucked up. A game like that (based on what I remember reading about it) takes some 18 months to develop, that's 1.5 million/month. You'd hire a quite talented crew of 30 for some 5 years with that money (paying them 10 000 a month each, with a lot of extra for other expenses. [What you need for game development is a core team of about 5-8 people, with up to 20-25 extras for assorted tasks.] Of course, they could've wasted the money on marketing...).


Posted by: Randola | March 22, 2007 6:41 PM

It wouldn't have been so bad if you could be on the side of Satan and win, but they stacked the deck against him. I mean, it was far more fun to play the Empire side in Star Wars....


Posted by: Poseidon | March 22, 2007 7:42 PM

I'm sure this has been brought up before, but does anyone else remember Bible Buffet, Joshua, and Noah's Ark for the NES?


Posted by: llewelly | March 22, 2007 7:59 PM

Uh, $27M is about 5 times what a mid-range game ought to cost. Either this company is awfully wasteful, or some insider looting is going on.


Posted by: Pumpkinhead | March 22, 2007 8:05 PM

The Sodomite religion of evolutionism has bottomless access to the taxpayer largesse and a captive audience of children to promote their faith. We Christians must turn to the private sector to promote our own. Unfortunately, in business the possibility of failure is always real.


Posted by: SEF | March 22, 2007 8:06 PM

I don't know about the NES games mentioned, but the title of "Bible Buffet" makes me think there ought to be a vaguely tetris or other falling item type game (or even a wheel spinning or throwing/shooting one), where the correct item has to be aligned and fed to the correct slavering god head. So a beating heart goes to some Aztec god or other. The fatty portions of some lamb(?) goes to the Yahweh one - and woe betide you if you give it anything vegetarian (which should probably go to a Hindu or Greek god). And so on.


Posted by: Pumpkinhead | March 22, 2007 8:10 PM

In addition, there are adults while not technically captive, are still required to imbide at least four more years of Darwinian snake venom in order to get a beyond hamburger flipping--and pay for the priveledge.


Posted by: darrell | March 22, 2007 8:25 PM

At Pumpkinhead:

I see what you did there.


Posted by: ShovelDawg | March 22, 2007 8:31 PM


"The Sodomite religion of evolutionism has bottomless access to the taxpayer largesse and a captive audience of children to promote their faith. We Christians must turn to the private sector to promote our own."

Uhhh, does the term "faith based initiatives" ring a bell? How about tax-exempt status and other religious shenanigans? It seems that religion (gasp!)actually gets the sweetheart deal from the government. Say it isn't so!!!


Posted by: eewolf | March 22, 2007 8:32 PM

I suppose it would be high irony if rapture did happen and took away all the customers... Posted by: daenku32 yes, and how funny would it be if those of us into reality could be "beamed" away leaving them to wonder how the "evolutionists" and atheists made the rapture without them.

Posted by: eewolf | March 22, 2007 8:35 PM

looks like I didn't close a blockquote correctly. i guess i'll miss the html rapture tour also.


Posted by: Odonata | March 22, 2007 8:53 PM

This is great news. Maybe this result will make them avoid another such venture in the future.


Posted by: Jeff | March 22, 2007 9:04 PM

Pumpkinhead, if you are doing satire you are being hillarious, if you are being serious you are being scarey.


Posted by: Blake Stacey, OM | March 22, 2007 9:18 PM


This is great news. Maybe this result will make them avoid another such venture in the future.

No, no — don't you see, we want them to waste as much money as possible! Right?


Posted by: Keanus | March 22, 2007 9:33 PM

Couldn't have happened to nicer people:-)


Posted by: daenku32 | March 22, 2007 10:35 PM

Only XHTML 1.0 can save you from the html rapture eewolf.


Posted by: Jonathan Vos Post | March 22, 2007 10:58 PM

So close. It might have been a hit if they'd invested $27 million AND 30 pieces of silver...


Posted by: llewelly | March 22, 2007 11:31 PM

Blake Stacey:


This is great news. Maybe this result will make them avoid another such venture in the future.

No, no - don't you see, we want them to waste as much money as possible! Right?

You'll LOOVE Glen Stoll. He's a creationist, and a tax charlatan, who
has defrauded his primarily creationist clients to the tune of
hundreds of thousands of dollars. His dreadfully wrong 'tax advice'
is a principle reason Kent Hovind is in prison.


Posted by: demallien | March 23, 2007 1:27 AM

The Lord Giveth and the Lord Taketh Away... :-)


Posted by: MR | March 23, 2007 2:02 AM

I'm working on a religious game of my own, Jehova's Witness: The Bothering. A horde of pamphlet carrying nutjobs has descended on your peaceful Saturday morning. All you have is a limited supply of blasphemy, On the Origin of Species, and the combo edition of Nietzsche's Twighlight of the Idols/The Antichrist. What do you do?!

Double points if ya make em cry.


Posted by: tim gueguen | March 23, 2007 2:55 AM

The irony of Rapture theology is that its largest core of believers are supposedly Biblical literalists. Yet Rapture theology requires a big hunk of non literal interpreting of the text, so much in fact that no one apparently noticed that the Bible contains the idea of the Rapture until the early 1800s. Not to mention that there are pre amd post millenial interpretations of the idea.


Posted by: bwv | March 23, 2007 3:13 AM

At 18 cents the $27 million has turned into $6 million. Not only that, from the latest balance sheet the company has 70K in cash and 1.7 million in accounts payable (i.e. unpaid bills).

Furthermore the stock was never listed on a major exchange, it trades on the same over the counter market that all the penny stock scams do. The stock itself was created through a shady reverse merger with a shell company entitled Bonanza gold. So all along its method of listing and raising capital has been no different than any fraudulent penny stock.


Posted by: Drhoz! | March 23, 2007 5:08 AM

hmm.. so they blew 27 million doing this... *puts on business hat and goes asks for job* I'm sure I can milk them for a few hundred K before it all goes belly-up

"That'll be $25000 for these blank floppy discs. Yes, of course people still use floppies. Would I lie to you? And they're *recycled*"


Posted by: Vic | March 23, 2007 11:23 AM

What's funny too is that the game is now relegated to the bargain/clearance bins. It's music to my eyes to see the '29.99' price tag layered over by a big red "CLEARANCE - 9.99"...

Strangely, though, there were still a lot of them in the bin...


Posted by: Kristine | March 23, 2007 11:26 AM

As SapphireGrl wrote on, ""Where in the Word does it say to 'kill the infidels'? Where are we told to kill anyone that won't convert? Jesus said to shake the dust from your feet, not to mow them down with automatic weapons!"

C'mere, SapphireGrl, I'm gonna give you a big atheist hug. (Then I'll teach you how to shake your Sahara dust!) ;-)

What a relief. This repulsive game about cracked my faith in humanity.

But I have more good news, PZ - The Mpls public library is having its book sale (spurred by some library closings) and there's a whole row of "Left Behind" Books - the "Teen" Series (don't ask me why public libraries are buying this crap for children), and they're not selling. I'll check today - I think they're still there.

(I scored a whole year's worth of Science at 10 cents a magazine.)


Posted by: JM | March 23, 2007 11:41 AM

Come in spinner.

Oops sorry - international audience, I'll have to translate for those that don't understand Australian.

"Hey, there's a fool over here with more money than sense; why don't we nod vigorously, give him exactly what he wants, take the money and run. If he's really dumb, we might get a second bite; if not, there'll be another one along soon who'll hire us to do the same thing because of our obvious 'experience' in the field"

Bet you never suspected "Australian" could be such an expressive language hey?


Posted by: The Count | March 23, 2007 2:35 PM

The Count, after working as an Electrical Engineer for some 20 years, decided in 1995 to switch careeres and go from designing weapons for DoD contractors to working in the game business. He is an Executive Producer at an unnamed game publisher.

Simply put, here's a typical review of the game:

Score - 3.4 out of 10 (Bad)

Throw away quote - Another good thing about the Rapture is that it will take you away from disastrous, buggy games like Left Behind: Eternal Forces.

The Good - Interesting concept that strays from the kill-'em-all RTS norm.

The Bad - Mission design and pathfinding issues; storyline veers from religious devotion to self-parody; ugly visuals and too many identical unit models; very unstable.

Be happy that the game sucks, as if it was a good game, peeps would play it regardless of any message contained therein.


Posted by: The Count | March 23, 2007 2:48 PM

Ok, I have to add this as well. I was reading some user (consumer) reviews and came across this gem. The fun part is that he/she had low expectations to start with, and was still disappointed.

Score - 1.7 out of 10 (Abysmal)

Just plain bad.

While I'm not a religious person, I still thought, "what the heck". picked it up for like 50 dollars, and installed. Played for about an hour or two, uninstalled, repackaged, and returned it demanding a full refund. I halfexpected (sic) the guy at the store to ask me why. He looked at the game, and was like "yeah, got a few of these returns today" It was glitched like I haven't seen in a long time. Froze at least 4 times, graphic design was poor, at best. Boring. A must-not-buy. There is not much more to say.

I had low expectations (yes i realize it's a lot of money for low expectations), and boy, was I disappointed. Don't ever buy this game.


Posted by: Mark H. | March 23, 2007 4:18 PM

There is a great review of LB:EF at GameRevolution.

Still, it's probably not as bad as Bible Adventures on the NES.


Posted by: GalapagosPete | March 23, 2007 4:42 PM

Pumpkinhead, if you are doing satire you are being hillarious, if you are being serious you are being scarey.

Posted by: Jeff

Well, he used "Sodomite" and "bottomless" in the same sentence, so...I say satire.


Posted by: Kagehi | March 23, 2007 4:47 PM

Only XHTML 1.0 can save you from the html rapture eewolf.

No. XHTML is a darwinist plot! Why else did they replace the Christ in the word with an X instead!?!



Posted by: Steve_C | March 23, 2007 5:17 PM

That GameRevoluton review rocks.

"Speaking of which, I'm sure there are a few of you out there praying for me right now. You don't think I'm prepared for the second coming of Christ, but I am. You see, I've got a nail gun."



Posted by: Kristine | March 23, 2007 5:30 PM

Left Behind on the Shelf, Part II

Okay, I went to the Mpls Library book sale again. They're having the "all the books you can stuff in the paper bag for $2" sale. People were walking out with grocery bags bursting and the Left Behind Kids books (I guess it's "kids," not "teens," doesn't that just warm yer heart?) are still there.

They will get left behind and thrown out, I guess.

Tra-la-la. (But I don't know what the library was doing with them when some hoity-toity librarians can't stand a Newberry-Award-winning book that contains the word, "scrotum.")

Anybody need a science librarian? I can bring my own books. ;-)

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