Ukraine government wants Atomic Heart banned on Steam
The Ukraine government says it will write an official letter to Valve, Microsoft, and Sony requesting that Atomic Heart, the new FPS game from Russian developer Mundfish, be removed from digital stores in Ukraine itself, and that platform holders should consider “limiting distribution” in other countries.
Ukraine’s Ministry of Digital Affairs says that it will send the letter owing to the “toxicity” of Atomic Heart and “the potential collection of user data information, and the possibility of their transfer to third parties in Russia.” Our own Atomic Heart review provides a comprehensive look at the new shooter.
“Regarding the situation with the release of the game Atomic Heart, which has Russian roots and romanticises communist ideology and the Soviet Union, The Ministry of Digital Transformation of Ukraine will send an official letter to Sony, Microsoft, and Valve requesting a ban on selling digital versions of this game in Ukraine,” says Ukraine’s Deputy Minister of Digital Transformation, Alex Bornyakov.
“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 statement was initially issued via Ukrainian tech website Dev.au. An English version was subsequently obtained, directly from the Ukrainian government, by PCGamesN.
“According to media reports, the game’s development was funded by Russian enterprises,” the statement continues. “Therefore, we call for all users worldwide to avoid this game. We also want to emphasise that the game developers have not publicly condemned the Putin regime and the bloody war that Russia has unleashed against Ukraine.”
PCGamesN has contacted Atomic Heart’s developer, Mundfish, and will update this story with any further comment.
Developer Mundfish has come under increasing scrutiny in recent weeks after it was alleged that the Russian government stands to gain financially from the release of Atomic Heart. This is due to the fact that investors involved in the financing of Mundfish include GEM Capital, an investment fund whose founder has ties to Gazprom and VTB Bank, both of which are majority-owned by the Russian state.
Mundfish is also partnering with VK (formerly Mail.RU) for the Russian release of Atomic Heart, evading sanctions on Steam – VK is also majority-owned by the Russian state through Gazprombank, and Mundfish’s CEO is a former Creative Director at Mail.RU.
With Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine, many players are now choosing to boycott the game in protest and donate money to organisations like The Ukraine Crisis Appeal, International Rescue Committee, and the British Red Cross.