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Ukraine asks Valve, Microsoft and Sony to pull Atomic Heart game

by on24 February 2023

A little too close to that nice Mr Putin

Ukraine's Ministry of Digital Transformation has asked Valve, Microsoft, and Sony to halt the sale of Atomic Heart in Ukraine and will urge "limiting" its distribution in other countries because of the "the potential use of money raised from game purchases to conduct a war against Ukraine."

For those not in the know, Atomic Heart is developed by Mundfish, a Russian studio backed by a company founded by a former deputy general of Gazprom, Russia's state-run energy behemoth. It is distributed by VKPlay, which is effectively controlled by Gazprom.

Deputy minister of digital transformation Alex Bornyakov said. "We also urge limiting the distribution of this game in other countries due to its toxicity, potential data collection of users, and the potential use of money raised from game purchases to conduct a war against Ukraine.

The allegation of data collection is possible, although we doubt that any money from the game's sale will end up in the pockets of that nice Mr Putin or his minions.

The game developers have not publicly condemned that nice Mr Putin's extra-special "military operation" in Ukraine or the targeting of civilian targets.

Mundfish has described itself as "a pro-peace organisation against violence against people" but has not spoken out against Russia's invasion of Ukraine. The implication is that Mundfish believes that peace will only be achieved when Ukraine surrenders to that nice Mr Putin.

Atomic Heart has been largely well-received critically, but it's also been roundly criticised for several issues beyond its possible support of the Russian government. It includes racist cartoons and over-sexualised robot twins based on Yulia Tymoshenko, the leader of Ukraine's pro-Western Batkivshchyna party.

Mundfish has denied it was harvesting data for that nice Mr Putin even if its digital store terms of service admit that user data could be collected and submitted to Russian state authorities, including the tax office and the Federal Security Service (FSB), the successor to the KGB.

Mundfish insisted that data was "outdated and wrong" and that neither the website nor the game collect any user data. We guess we will have to take their word for it.


Last modified on 24 February 2023
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