Communications minister Mitch Fifield has asked his department to investigate the circumstances under which a game that encourages players to bludgeon Aboriginal Australians to death was offered for sale on major online sites.
This morning the game 'Survival Island 3: Australia Story 3D' was removed from sale on the Apple Store and Google Play after thousands demanded it's removal and labelled the game racist.
"I am appalled that anyone would develop such a so called 'game' and that any platform would carry it," Minister Fifield said in a statement.
"I have asked my department to provide advice on the circumstances of its release and to review and advise in relation to any other games by the same developer."
In the game players are told to “beware of Aborigines” and have to “bludgeon to death” Aboriginal Australians to progress through the game.
Screen shots show players pointing weapons at men with spears and comments about “killing Aborigines”. Later players can be seen standing over a body after bashing it with two sticks.
A petition calling for the removal of the game has already received more than 60,000 signatures.
“Selling games that promote racism and negative stereotypes of Indigenous Australians is not acceptable!” the petition stated.
“’Survival Island 3- Australia Story 3D', is a game available on a number of App Stores, developed by NIL Entertainment, that promotes violence towards Australia’s Indigenous people by allowing and even encouraging the players to kill Indigenous Australians.”
Apple removed the game from its store this morning as the backlash grew. Google Play also removed the game this afternoon. It had been available on the Apple Store since December 15.
Technology expert Trevor Long said the Apple has a strict vetting process but Google Play doesn't.
"It's upon all of us to say that is not acceptable, and either flag it as inappropriate, get in touch with the developers and say so," he told SBS.
"There are hundreds of thousands of apps I can't imagine they can play a game all the way through."
Sean Gordon the CEO of the Darkinjung Local Aboriginal Land Council said the game put Aboriginal rights back hundreds of years.
"I was absolutely stunned, shocked."
"We need to be going into a referendum with a positive message about how far we've come in the past 200 years. And not images that send us back 200 years," he told SBS.
A spokeswoman for Google told SBS: "We remove applications that violate our policies, and while we don’t comment on individual apps, we publish our policies here".
Apple refused to comment after it removed the game from the Apple Store.
Additional reporting by Hannah Sinclair