Atomic Heart, a first-person-shooter developed by Mundfish which takes place in an alternate history version of the Soviet Union, has only been out for a day but it might not be available in the Ukraine for much longer.
Oleksandr Borniakov, Ukraine’s Deputy Minister of Digital Transformation, has affirmed that the ministry will send an official request to Microsoft, Sony and Valve asking them to remove the game from their storefronts in Ukraine.
Borniakov also asked that Atomic Heart‘s distribution be restricted in other countries as well, in a statement made to Dev.UA.
“We also call for limiting the distribution of this game in other countries due to its toxicity,” Borniakov said, “potential collection of user data and the possibility of transferring it to third parties in Russia, as well as the potential use of money raised from game purchases to wage war against Ukraine.”
“Therefore, we urge all users to ignore this game,” Borniakov continued. “We would also like to emphasize to the Western audience that the game developers have not issued a public statement condemning the Putin regime and the bloody war that Russia has unleashed against Ukraine.”
According to Dev.ua, Mundfish has ties to Russian state-owned energy corporation Gazprom and when asked, the developer hasn’t outright announced its opposition to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, instead giving statements of being “non-political” and “pro-peace” when faced with allegations of harvesting data for Russian sources. In addition, although Mundfish is officially headquartered in Cyprus, Dev.ua alleges that the development team is primarily Russian.
An article by Eurogamer quotes a statement on Mundfish’s official website, which reads, “Founded in 2017, by a team of four like-minded gaming enthusiasts, Mundfish is a video game development studio headquartered in Cyprus. Mundfish is led by a talented global team focused on creating an original, captivating, and unique gaming experience with their first title, Atomic Heart.”
Eurogamer then goes on to explain that, “Mundfish’s statement omits the detail its team was originally from Moscow, and that Russian media continue to describe the studio as Russian in articles about the game.”
Twitter users have also made light of the female twin robot bodyguard characters featured predominantly in Atomic Heart‘s imagery and gameplay bearing suspicious similarities to Yulia Tymoshenko, the leader of the Batkivshchyna party in Ukraine. The characters, who Twitter user DinaKay describes as “sex slave robots,” sport a unique hairstyle that is conspicuously similar to Tymoshenko’s.
Straight up based the sex slave robots design off of Yulia Tymoshenko… The leader of the Ukrainian 'Batkivshchyna' political party pic.twitter.com/Y0hmef2xHB
— Dinka Kay | TENEBRIX (@DinkaKay) February 21, 2023
What do you think of the news that Ukraine calls for ban of Atomic Heart sales from Microsoft, Sony and Valve storefronts? Does Mundfish’s alleged funding from Gazprom, a Russian-owned energy corporation and the developer’s reticence in denouncing the war in Ukraine support the Ukrainian deputy minister’s assertions that Atomic Heart might be transferring information to Russian third parties in some capacity? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.