Ukraine government specifically asks Gabe Newell to pull Atomic Heart from Steam
| Last updated
Featured Image Credit: Mundfish
Ukraine's government has specifically asked Gabe Newell to pull Atomic Heart from Steam.
Atomic Heart was released for PC and current-gen consoles in February this year. Inspired by the likes of BioShock and Wolfenstein, it tells the story of an alternative history in which Russia defeated Nazi Germany in WW2. What’s more, players also assume the role of a KGB agent.
Atomic Heart is not without its controversy. Russian developers Mundfish have been accused of being funded by its government, which in turn allegedly funds Russia. Mundfish then came under heavy scrutiny following a statement in an attempt to address the accusations made against the studio. Some members of the video game community were angered by the line stating that Mundfish was “undeniably a pro-peace organisation against violence against people.”
The issue that some had, is that by saying “violence against people”, it kind of addressed Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, without actually mentioning it directly.
Guys, we have noted the questions surrounding where we, at Mundfish, stand. We want to assure you that Mundfish is a developer and studio with a global team focused on an innovative game and is undeniably a pro-peace organization against violence against people.— @Mundfish #AtomicHeart (@mundfish) January 16, 2023
Furthermore, the Ukraine government then asked Sony, Microsoft and Valve to pull the “toxic” Atomic Heart from digital stores. However, now the Ukraine government has addressed Valve CEO, Gabe Newell, directly. PCGamesN reports that Ukraine’s vice prime minister Mykhailo Fedorov has published a total of four letters to Sony, Microsoft and Valve, but also one specifically for Gabe Newell.
“We have serious concerns regarding the game Atomic Heart, launched via the Steam platform on 21 February, 2023. So, with this letter I would like to approach you with the following,” reads the letter addressed to Newell and Valve. “As Mundfish 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."
“Another point I have to highlight is that working with Russian entities is not in line with sanctions policy within free democratic countries. I believe Valve doesn’t want to be considered a platform that supports communism, even in such futuristic execution,” Fedorov continues.
“Now more than ever leaders and businesses around the world should be united to protest the Russian invasion and stop financing war in all possible ways, informational as well. Hope to see you on the light side,” concludes the letter.
Atomic Heart is out now on PC, PlayStation and Xbox. It is also available via Xbox Game Pass at no extra cost to subscribers.