Ukraine’s Ministry of Digital Transformation asks companies to ban selling Atomic Heart

Ukrainian Ministry of Digital Transformation has officially asked Sony, Microsoft, and Valve to ban selling Atomic Heart on their platforms. Mykhailo Fedorov, the Minister of Digital Transformation, announced this move on his Twitter, publishing the letter that was sent to those three companies.

In those letters, Mykhailo Fedorov urges companies to ban the sell digital versions of Atomic Hearts via Xbox games Store, Steam, Sony PlayStation, and stop promoting “the communist system and Soviet symbols.” The Minister also wrote that he believed that each of those three companies — Sony, Microsoft, and Valve, “doesn’t want to be considered as a platform that supports communism.”

Fedorov also emphasized that the developers, Russian Mundfish studio, have not publicly expressed their position on the “military actions of the Russian Federation” bloody war that Russia unleashed against Ukraine.

As we wrote earlier, Mundfish stated that they are “out of politics and for peace.” But after the release of the game in February, it became clear that the Russian developers did make a political statement out of it: mocking the murders of Ukrainians by the Russian army, admiring the USSR, and leaving “Easter eggs” for the joy of the Russian audience that supports the war. 

Just more context about what is wrong with Atomic Heart

Atomic Heart was released in February. This game is positioned by the developers as a Bioshoсk-like Soviet shooter. It describes the events of the alternative history of the 50s, where the Soviet Union emerged from the Second World War scientifically and technologically advanced, reaching the peak of development with cold nuclear fusion and intelligent robots.

Atomic Heart is developed by Mundfish studio, which claims to be international with an office in Cyprus, but it is Russian in fact. 

“According to information we have, the above-mentioned game, developed by Russian studio Mundfish. As Mundfish has Russian management and offices, there is a potential risk that money raised from the purchase of the game will be transferred to Russia’s budget, so it will be used to fund war against Ukraine,”

the Minister of Digital Transformation Mykhailo Fedorov wrote in the letters.

Moreover, Mundfish studio is sponsored by Russian investors, including an ex-Gazprom top manager with close ties to Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska and the sanctioned VTB bank. More about its background, you can find in our investigation: