Rockstar Games is looking for Russian localization testers — Why is it wrong?

Rockstar Games, a US-based publisher of such renowned video game series as Grand Theft Auto and Red Dead Redemption, is apparently looking to improve the experience for its Russian fans, announcing a new job opening for Russian Localization Tester. Before that, Take Two, a parent company behind Rockstar Games, vowed to have stopped new sales of their games in Russia and Belarus.

The news caused a lot of frustration from the Ukrainian gaming community, who do not even expect to play the game in Ukrainian. AIN explains why it is wrong, reminding our readers that the Russian state continues committing genocide against Ukrainian citizens and the Russian gaming community is widely supportive of this war.

Rockstar Games isn’t the only one to cause such an uproar

The news about the job opening at Rockstar Games sparked an expected outrage among Ukrainian gaming community, which was shunned and thrown aside by big game developers for a very long time. Under one of the most recent posts on X about the job opening, there were dozens of pleas to support the Ukrainian language localization for the upcoming GTA VI.

  • Despite over 30 million people speaking Ukrainian in the country, gaming industry oftentimes regards Ukrainian community as Russian-speaking, forcing fans of different franchises to play only in Russian. This trend has only started to change recently, after the inception of the Russian war against Ukraine, when Ukrainian community became much more vocal about their desire to play games in their native language.
  • The GameSensor platform analyzed the global situation of the presence of the Ukrainian language in games on the Steam platform and what percentage of popular games have Ukrainian localization. The highest percentage of games with Ukrainian localization was in 2018-2019, and since then it has only been decreasing.
  • One of the most recent examples was the inclusion of Ukrainian localization to Cyberpunk 2077, which is more of an exception than a rule. To no surprise, this had somehow angered Russian gamers, who were so keen on bashing the Ukrainian localization, CD Projekt RED had to issue an official apology to calm them.

The incident showcases the fact, that no matter how much angry, violent, and hateful the Russian gaming community is, it will still get support from the developers. Why? Because gamedev tops love Russian money.

Rockstar, Steam, PlayStation just love Russian money

Another similar incident brought our attention recently. Following the news of Sony’s release of Ghost of Tsushima Director’s Cut on PC, a discussion was created on the game’s Steam page asking for the Ukrainian localization. The discussion quickly gained over a hundred comments supporting the idea, but it was instantly attacked by the Russian gamers who used hateful language towards the Ukrainians.

  • Instead of moderating the comment section, Steam’s moderators decided to just delete the whole discussion. After the incident, several new discussions were created to be continuously flooded with hate and deleted afterwards. Instead, Russians started their own quest to further shun the Ukrainian community, creating topics with their “explanations” why the Ukrainian localization is a bad idea.
  • Spoiler: the list is full of ethnic hate (saying Ukrainians are to poor to buy the game), insane сlaims (Ukrainians don’t have time to play games as they are at war), as well as propaganda (many countries use Russian so it’s more profitable for companies).

Earlier, AIN already wrote about the way Steam tolerates Russian war sympathizers. The marketplace allows the Russian gaming community to freely create genocide-supporting hate groups for the simple reason: Steam fears to lose Russian bloodied money. Sometimes it seems like no matter what crimes against humanity this “community” perpetrates and endorses, money will surely make Steam, Rockstar, Sony, Xsolla, and other big names completely oblivious.

Other hateful things Russian gamers did to the gaming world

  1. Russians stole the early build of GSC Game World’s upcoming S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2, blackmailed the developers, and made it playable. Before that, Russian military killed Volodymyr Yezhov, a prominent game designer at the studio.
  2. They copied and released its own “analog” of the Finnish FPV simulator game Death from Above, which allows you to play as a Ukrainian military.
  3. The “apolitical” Russian-made game Atomic Heart, which is funded by Russian VC fund GEM Capital, made fun of the killings of Ukrainians, glorifying the Soviet regime at the same time.
  4. In Minecraft, a popular sandbox game owned by Microsoft, Russian players re-enacted the battle for Soledar, a city in Ukraine that Russian forces occupied in January.
  5. In May 2023, the players of the Russian version of World of Tanks recreated the Soviet Union’s parade of tanks in Moscow 1945, glorifying the Soviet army.
  6. In another popular gaming platform Roblox Russian users created an array of Russian military forces assets to celebrate the national holiday, Russia Day, also glorifying its bloody regime.
  7. Escape from Tarkov’s developers showed the middle finger to the stylized soldier of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, mocking Ukrainians during their marketing campaign.