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The Clash Between Atomic Heart and Ukraine: What’s Happening?

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By Brennan Forrest - - 5 Mins Read

Source: Steam

Atomic Heart has drawn some controversy to its side as it faces allegations about having ties with Russia. 

The studio that made this game is funded by Russian investors, which means that they have a small pool of people who are closely connected to Putin. 

Furthermore, the game itself is set in a KGB-operative environment of the Soviet Union. These facts and the developer's reluctance to condemn the attack, have the game associated with the Russian invasion of Ukraine.  

Ukraine Asks Companies To Cut Ties With Atomic Heart

Source: Steam

The Ukrainian government has urged gaming companies to take Atomic Heart out of their digital storefronts because of the allegations that it is Pro-Russian. 

The game's creator, Mundfish, has refuted the claims, but Ukraine is adamant that the Cyprus-based business is backing Russia because the game is based on a revisionist history of the Soviet Union. Mundfish is also disputing that they gather player data and transfer it to the Russian government along with the other charges that they are helping in the financing of the conflict.

The deputy minister of digital transformation for Ukraine, Oleksandr Boryakov, is confident that these allegations are true and will approach Microsoft, Sony, and Valve to request and ban the game. 

Why The Controversy?

Source: PC Gamer

The Atomic Heart is set in the booming Soviet Union of the 1950s, where robotics and innovation have evolved well beyond what we have today. 

The plot revolves around the fictitious Major Sergey Nechaev, popularly known as P-3, who has to put an end to a gang of robots that have gone bad and started murdering the inhabitants. 

The player solves the puzzle of why the robots have embarked on a killing spree. The game has been compared to the immensely well-liked first-person shooter BioShock, which was released in 2007. 

What does this have to do with Atomic Heart and Mundfish then? Numerous video game creators and publishers have expressed their opposition to the conflict, stopped marketing their products in Russia and Belarus, and made charitable contributions.

The company that created World of Tanks even went so far as to announce the closing of its office in Belarus, ostensibly without informing the developers there. 

The website for Mundfish now states that the company's headquarters are in Cyprus, which appears to be accurate as of right now, but it makes no claims concerning the location of the company's founding. Nonetheless, until recently, the corporation was acknowledged to be Russian and to have an office in Moscow.  

If Mundfish wants to be released in a nation where censorship is used against both "LGBT propaganda" and people calling the conflict in Ukraine a war, it would be wise to stay silent about the conflict.