Mykhailo Fedorov, head of Ukraine’s Ministry of Digital Transformation, sent a letter to Valve, Microsoft, and Sony, asking for the new first-person shooter video game Atomic Heart to cease active sales on their platforms.
Fedorov tweeted, officially requesting “to ban sales of the Atomic Heart game. I do believe none of these businesses support the bloody regime, murders, or romanticizing communism. Brand new level of Russian digital propaganda; using the gaming industry.”
Fedorov’s letter read: "That with the studio (Mundfish) having Russian management and offices located in Russia that the game poses a potential security threat. The game promoted the Russian regime."
Oleksander Bornyakov, the Deputy Minister of Digital Transformation, released a statement via The New Voice of Ukraine saying that the studio was connected to sanctioned Russia and that this was a step against fighting the Russian oligarch.
The game is set in alternate history USSR, where the Russian regime reached a communist utopia in the late 1950s following the invention of robots after the newest robot control system goes haywire and the robots turn rogue, killing everyone.
On Mundfish’s website, they state that their game isn’t political and doesn’t endorse any political factions or ideals. They are not connected to any governmental body. Their intentions are pure; they only want to entertain audiences.
The studio also tweeted a response saying that they are a pro-peace organization against the violence of all people. They do not comment on politics or religion. They do not, will not, and never will condone contributors with harmful material.
Atomic Heart was developed by Mundfish and released on February 20th, receiving critical and commercial acclaim for its world, story, and gameplay. Many were displeased with its dialogue, calling it some of the worst dialogue to have been written for a game. The game currently holds 86% on steam with over 12,000 reviews.
The game was announced in June 2018 and was being developed by a small group of four friends. Upon its announcement via their YouTube channel, the game went viral attracting attention from all over the internet, allowing the group to hire more talent.
Many gamers fired back at Fedorov saying that Ukraine has more significant issues to worry about and that they should stay out of video games. Others said they won’t be buying the game because of the ongoing war with Russia.
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