Ukrainian government officially calls for a worldwide ban on Atomic Heart

The Vice Prime Minister of Ukraine has sent an official request to Sony, Microsoft, and Valve to drop support for the controversial game.

The official Twitter account behind Ukraine’s Vice Prime Minister, Mykhailo Fedorov, has publicly shared documentation regarding its proposal as sent to PlayStation boss Jim Ryan, among several others. This comes after public outcry due to the racist caricatures found within Atomic Heart and the alleged connections between developer Mundfish and Vladimir Putin’s regime.

Should Atomic Heart be distributed by Western outlets?

The tweet shows that apart from Sony Interactive Entertainment's CEO Jim Ryan, other notable figures in the industry have received the letter. Sony Group Corporation President Kenichiro Yoshida is one of them, with the Vice Chair and President of Microsoft, Brad Smith, and the CEO of Valve Corporation, Gabe Newell, being the others.

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As of this moment, none of them have made a public statement on the matter or have taken action. The letter urges these private entities to strengthen the economic pressure on Russia by banning the project from their platforms, as a follow-up on their decision last year to suspend sales in Russia following the country's invasion of Ukraine.

As Mundfiish has Russian management and offices, there is a potential risk that money raised from the purchases of the game will be transferred to Russia's budget, so it will be used to fund the war against Ukraine. I believe Sony Interactive Entertainment doesn’t want to be considered as a platform that supports communism, even in such a futuristic execution. History of Soviet Russia and its imperialistic infringements towards other independent countries led to murder of hundreds of thousands of civil people. Not only now in Ukraine but also in Moldova and Georgia. Taking into account the above-mentioned, we urge Sony Group Corporation to ban the selling digital versions of this game via Sony PlayStation. As you can imagine, the other letters to Microsoft and Valve make the same request, but with both the Microsoft Store and Steam."

This comes less than a week after a public outcry started originating from a Resetera post that showed a racist caricature as a part of the project. The Ukrainian authorities pointed to this caricature and the glorification of communist content with the inclusion of old episodes of Nu, Pogodi!, which translates to Well, Just You Wait!, a Soviet-era cartoon that started airing in 1969. Players can take a break from the action in the game's Resident Evil-style rooms where saves can be made, and including this content there is considered propaganda by many.

This is just the last in a long line of controversies following the release of the project, as reported earlier this week that Mundfish's Russian store website was harvesting user data with every transaction. When making a purchase there was reportedly a clause informing users that their data may be collected and sent to Russian state authorities. Among those included would be the tax office and the Federal Security Service (FSB), a Russian federal body with broad authority to implement government policy on national defense and counterterrorism.

Scott Kostov

A passion for writing and gaming has propelled Scott down the path of content creation. When he isn't scouring every known source on the internet for information, he's a track addict vibing to music in the countryside of sunny Macedonia. Link up with Scott on Twitter and Steam.
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