Rockstar Games and Take-Two Interactive also found themselves ducking attacks when they launched Manhunt 2 in 2007. The action-adventure sequel to 2003's Manhunt was released in North America in October 2007 for the PlayStation 2, PlayStation Portable and Nintendo Wii.
The game was originally given an Adult-Only rating by the ESRB for the level of violence. But since retailers won't sell games with that rating, the game makers modified the game to get a more palatable "Mature" rating.
In the game, players assume to role of a psychiatric patient who will stop at nothing to escape the ward, drawing criticism from mental health and children's advocacy groups.
To the independent filmmaker and developer behind it, "Super Columbine Massacre RPG" was a way to explore tragedy and cultural issues through gaming. But many others didn't see it that way.
Launched in 2005, on the sixth anniversary of the shootings at Colorado's Columbine High School, the video game lets players assume the role of the two teens responsible for the tragedy.
With semiautomatic weapons in their hand, the players walk the school hallways deciding whom to kill. News footage and photos of Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, the teens behind the attack, are interspersed throughout the game.
Danny Ledonne, the game's developer, grew up near Littleton, Colo., and in an "artist's statement" on the game's Web site, says he created the game to spark discussion not perpetuate violence.
Ledonne did not immediately respond to e-mail messages from ABCNews.com requesting comment but on the game's Web site writes, "Games that genuinely challenge social taboos or confront real cultural issues are nearly non-existent. I wanted to make something that mattered. This game asks more of its audience than rudimentary button-pushing and map navigation; it implores introspection.
"At the end of the day, the understanding of the Columbine school shooting is deepened and redefined. That is the real object of the game," Ledonne continues.
In 2008, Ledonne release a film, "Playing Columbine," about the game and its aftermath. It was also met with controversy but has been screened at film festivals across the country.
Movies and television shows about the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy are accustomed to drawing fire from all sides.
But in 2004, it was a video game that was the center of controversy.
Developed by the Scottish game company Traffic Management Limited, "JFK Reloaded" asked players to re-create the tragic moment when the President was shot in Dallas, Texas.
The game let players take the role of assassin Lee Harvey Oswald and attempt to fire bullets at the presidential limo. According to PC World magazine, Senator Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., brother of the late president, condemned the game at the time, calling it "despicable" through a spokesperson.
In a press release distributed in 2004, the company said the "docu-game" was intended to disprove conspiracy theories surrounding the event.
"This new form of interactive entertainment brings history to life and will stimulate a younger generation of players to take an interest in this fascinating episode of American history. We've created the game in the belief that Oswald was the only person that fired the shots on that day, although this recreation proves how immensely difficult his task was," said Kirk Ewing, managing director of Traffic, in a press release.