Following the recent release of Atomic Heart, Ukraine calls on Sony, Microsoft, and Valve to ban the digital sales of this game in the country over concerns regarding Mundfish, its possible connections to Russia, the possibility of data being transferred to Russia, and more. This follows a series of accusations and events where developer Mundfish has, reportedly, accepted money from Russian companies and refused to denounce its war on Ukraine.
Mundfish has been described as a Russian developer by Russian media, though the company has insisted it has international origins and is currently based in Cyprus. It has supposedly received money from Russian-owned energy corporation Gazprom and was, once, accused of collecting user data on its website and sharing it with the country. This claim was denied. It also held a Russian press event back in November around the same time that the country passed anti-LGBT laws, with the war on Ukraine also ongoing. When asked for its stance on the war, Atomic Heart developer Mundfish called itself a "pro-peace organization" but did not outright comment on Russian or Ukraine, drawing some ire.
As a result, Ukraine wants to limit the distribution of Atomic Heart within its borders and beyond. Deputy Minister of Digital Affairs Alexander Bornyakov, in a statement to Dev.ua, addressed the potential toxicity of the game, the possible collection and transfer of data, and the potential of money it raises being used to wage war against Ukraine. Notably, if Mundfish did accept money from Russian companies, then funds from the game could be sent to the Russian government. Again, the Russian investment has neither been confirmed nor denied, but the Ukraine government's concerns are rooted in legitimate possibilities.
“We also call for limiting the distribution of this game in other countries due to its toxicity, the potential collection of user data information and the possibility of transferring it to third parties in Russia, as well as the potential use of money raised from purchases of the game to wage war against Ukraine,” Bornyakov said in his statement. He then called on all users to ignore the game and wanted to reiterate to Western audiences that Mundfish has still not condemned Russia's War on Ukraine.
Meanwhile, it's worth mentioning that Atomic Heart composer Mick Gordon donated his fee to the Australian Red Cross' Ukraine Crisis Appeal fund. He believed this was one way he could "provide practical support" for those impacted by the ongoing war.
Atomic Heart is out now for PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S.
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