Russians copied Finnish FPV simulator which supports Ukrainian military
The Russian game studio HFM Games released its own “analogue” of the Finnish FPV simulator game Death from Above, which allows you to play as a Ukrainian military. The difference between their releases is less than eight months. This was noted by the founder and CEO of the GRAPE marketing agency Yurii Gladkyi.
“Look at the game Russian propaganda is playing right now, focusing on millions of players through Steam and other platforms. In May, the Finnish studio Rockodile made a popular drone simulator Death from Above, where you control the Ukrainian military. And in December, an “undisclosed” Russian studio is promoting its own game where there are no Ukrainians and, accordingly, there is a desire to replace the Finns and the Ukrainian context and its connection to drones by promoting Russian content. Therefore, if you have access, report this “kamikaze” in English about the player deceit or slander,”Yurii writes.
FPV drone simulator Death from Above was released in Early Access on Steam on May 25, 2023. It was developed by the Finnish game studio Rockodile Games with the support of the German publisher Lesser Evil. It tells the story of a Ukrainian drone operator fighting the Russian invaders.
30% of the net profit from sales of the game was promised to be given to two Ukrainian charities: “Come Back Alive” and “Army of Drones”. The full version of the game is set to be released after the end of the development stage in the fourth quarter of 2023.
“You are a lone Ukrainian military drone operator battling Russian occupation forces. Hidden behind enemy lines, you command a ‘super drone’ to seek and destroy tanks, take back communication towers, recover stolen goods, and fight for a better tomorrow. Slava Ukraini!”the game description says.
However, in less than eight months, a similar game from the Russian studio HFM Games FPV Kamikaze Drone gets released into early access. HFM Games’ website states that they are “an independent game studio from St. Petersburg, operating since 2015 and… making the best games in the world.”
The poster and gameplay are very reminiscent of Death from Above, but here you are offered to play as the Russian military. Footage from the game looks like photos from the battlefield of a full-scale war between Russia and Ukraine.
The game already has 34 reviews on Steam, which are defined as “good”. In particular, a user with the nickname DiNNy notes that “I want to see more dynamics in the game, some destruction, a larger training ground and with equipment. You may even add a map editor and more equipment, tanks, BMPs, MRAPs, ordinary cars.”
Why is this important
Russia’s war against Ukraine has been going on for almost 10 years, almost two of them as a full-scale invasion. The enemy not only seizes lands by military means and bombards Ukrainian cities, but also wages war in cyberspace with propaganda. Video games are only one of its means.
Such an example was on February 21, 2022, when the Russian game Atomic Heart was released. The developers made it a political statement: mocking the killings of Ukrainians by the Russian army, admiring the USSR, and leaving “Easter eggs” for the joy of the Russian audience, which supports the war.