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Ukraine requests end to Atomic Heart sales


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Alexander Bornyakov, the deputy minister for digital transformation, has requested Sony, Microsoft, and Valve to stop the distribution of the Russian-developed shooter Atomic Heart, as revenues from the game's developer, Mundfish, could be used to finance the war against Ukraine.

https://www.guru3d.com/news-story/ukraine-requests-an-end-to-atomic-heart-sales.html

 

Is this political? Well, no one here voted for or against the war and I think it's too large of an event to completely ignore. That said, please keep any comments clean. Thank you. 

 

My opinion on this, I'm a bit torn. On one hand it looks like a great game in a time where it feels like we're in a bit of a game drought, bur on the other hand I think it would be much harder to enjoy the game the way it was intended to be enjoyed now. 

Edited by UltraMega

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I was under the impression that all U.S.  based payments to Russia were stopped.  See MSI Afterburner.

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Due to the war, our payment couldn’t transfer to the author’s bank account successfully.

This has more to do with the SWIFT banking ban on Russia, which is how most banks communicate financial transactions.

 

It's likely Valve and Microsoft are just putting the money into an account.  Stopping distribution is different than stopping payment, I don't think distribution should be stopped, that would require a refund to anyone who purchased the product but is no longer able to download it.  Suspending sales would be more reasonable, but why would a distribution platform stop sales when they might be able to keep all the money?  Sony on the other hand...  Shrug?

This is more of a publicity stunt than anything.  If they wanted to hurt Russia's income, that Nord Stream pipeline...  Could just be boycotted.  (That's not meant to be a stab at Germany, but a suggestion that there are simpler options than blowing it up.)

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At the end of the day, seems like some of the profits for the game would have to make it back to the Russian state and therefore can be used to fund the invasion so it makes sense to me that Ukraine would basically not want any Russian products to be sold outside of Russia at all. Sort of doubt Microsoft or Sony will respond to this though. Maybe they could offer to buy the devs some plane tickets? 😅

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The request is valid but it's obviously a complex topic. However, there are certainly some red flags that catch my eye.

 

This article wraps it up nicely: 

WWW.EUROGAMER.NET

As the release of sci-fi shooter Atomic Heart nears, numerous questions around the project remain - which its developer…

 

I'm not sure if the platforms have to comply but the question remains: are there any sanctions that directly ban the sale Russian funded software (video games)? Even if we all agree that the developers are nice people with good intensions, just follow the $.

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Maybe a pirated version of this game would be safer than the official version. 😅

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19 hours ago, Slaughtahouse said:

I'm not sure if the platforms have to comply but the question remains: are there any sanctions that directly ban the sale Russian funded software (video games)? Even if we all agree that the developers are nice people with good intensions, just follow the $.

Nice article, I didn't realize the game was released on the same day of the invasion and could be considered Russian propaganda due to the idealized portrayal of the Soviet Union.  That certainly makes it a bit more political than just another video game.  It's a fair question, if we are embargoing goods, why should video games still be sold with a simple, we'll collect later, tag?  No other goods are done like that.

 

I'd love to say the dev's did their own thing and the timing was just bad, but I think that would be a naive outlook.  Video games have been used as propaganda for a long time, just look at American Army.  Other games may not be as blatantly obvious, but they tend to push a similar idea.  Cortana was originally introduced in video games, before trying to convince everyone it is a personal assistant that just happens to spy on you.  There's no doubt in my mind that Russia is willing to use the same playbook. 

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Regardless of who made what, its a stupid video game.  If Atomic Heart is a good game, those Russian developers deserve to be paid by the people that play the game.  Period.  It's no different than tying an American to Joe Biden or Donald Trump and saying that American can't get paid because you disagree with their politics.  These Russian citizens are not Vladimir Putin, as such, they should be free enough to get paid for the work they've done.  Ukraine can go kick rocks.

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1 hour ago, pioneerisloud said:

Regardless of who made what, its a stupid video game.  If Atomic Heart is a good game, those Russian developers deserve to be paid by the people that play the game.  Period.  It's no different than tying an American to Joe Biden or Donald Trump and saying that American can't get paid because you disagree with their politics.  These Russian citizens are not Vladimir Putin, as such, they should be free enough to get paid for the work they've done.  Ukraine can go kick rocks.

It's not at all the same as tying an American to an American president. The issue is that some of the profits could literally help fund the invasion. 

 

If the US invaded a peaceful nation, it would be perfectly reasonable for that nation to ask people not to buy American products. 

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26 minutes ago, UltraMega said:

It's not at all the same as tying an American to an American president. The issue is that some of the profits could literally help fund the invasion. 

 

If the US invaded a peaceful nation, it would be perfectly reasonable for that nation to ask people not to buy American products. 

Right, I understand that point.  The problem with that logic is that basically cuts off ALL people in Russia.  Same as it would if an American company was being boycotted for political reasons.  I drive on the roads, I pay a gasoline tax and license fees.  Those taxes and fees go to the state, which also help fund the federal government.  So as such, I'm indirectly funding the federal government myself.  Same situation here.

 

Russian developers make a game.  They get paid for said game.  They pay their taxes.  Oh no, they're funding the invasion!!!!  Except they're really not, they're just paying their taxes as Russian citizens.  

 

That's all I was getting at.  It's not the developer's fault that their nation is in a war right now.

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12 minutes ago, pioneerisloud said:

Right, I understand that point.  The problem with that logic is that basically cuts off ALL people in Russia.  Same as it would if an American company was being boycotted for political reasons.  I drive on the roads, I pay a gasoline tax and license fees.  Those taxes and fees go to the state, which also help fund the federal government.  So as such, I'm indirectly funding the federal government myself.  Same situation here.

 

Russian developers make a game.  They get paid for said game.  They pay their taxes.  Oh no, they're funding the invasion!!!!  Except they're really not, they're just paying their taxes as Russian citizens.  

 

That's all I was getting at.  It's not the developer's fault that their nation is in a war right now.

I don't think anyone is saying it's the devs fault, but it's a Russian studio making a pretty pro Russia game, releasing it on the same day as the one year anniversary of the invasion, controlled by an investor with direct ties to the Russian state. At the very least, it raises some concerns. It's not like they just made some generic game, the theme of this game itself is somewhat relavent here. 

 

But I think the more interesting part of it is that Russian products are already boycotted but somehow this one feel through the cracks, and no one seems to know exactly why other things are boycotted but this is not. 

 

At the end of the day, even if it were free, I wouldn't want Russian software on my PC. 

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3 minutes ago, UltraMega said:

I don't think anyone is saying it's the devs fault, but it's a Russian studio making a pretty pro Russia game, releasing it on the same day as the one year anniversary of the invasion, controlled by an investor with direct ties to the Russian state. At the very least, it raises some concerns. It's not like they just made some generic game, the theme of this game itself is somewhat relavent here. 

 

But I think the more interesting part of it is that Russian products are already boycotted but somehow this one feel through the cracks, and no one seems to know exactly why other things are boycotted but this is not. 

 

At the end of the day, even if it were free, I wouldn't want Russian software on my PC. 

The investor thing isn't really THAT iffy if you think about it.  It'd be like Microsoft being an investor in a pro America video game and people boycotting American made video games because of a war or something.  The investor isn't necessarily involved with the game other than finances.  Yes, its a valid concern, but I doubt they had much to do with the game itself.  And yes, the game is very pro Russia from the sounds of it.  But again, is that REALLY that big of a deal?  It's fiction for starters, and secondly who wouldn't want to be pro their own country?  If Italians made a new game that was painting Italy in a positive light and was "pro Italy" would THAT be that big of a deal?  It's a touchy subject simply because of politics and the war, it has nothing to do with the people themselves in said country (in my opinion).

 

And yes, the second point you made there is very curious indeed.  If there's already a boycott why DID this game get through?  Hard to say for sure.  THAT, is a very valid question and probably deserves some answers.

 

I'm not saying that I'm going to install this game or not.  Probably not to be honest, I'm just not much of a gamer.  I just don't see the problem here if you take things at face value.  It's a video game.  If people outside of Russia bought it, the developers should get paid for their efforts, regardless of their country or nationality.

 

See, I don't care about some war between one group of rich people and another group of rich people.  I care about the people themselves of these places.  And its pretty rough on my heart hearing people hating on Russians or Ukrainians.  Those people themselves have nothing to do with this nonsense, they just want to live their lives, same as the rest of us.

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5 hours ago, pioneerisloud said:

The investor thing isn't really THAT iffy if you think about it.  It'd be like Microsoft being an investor in a pro America video game and people boycotting American made video games because of a war or something.  The investor isn't necessarily involved with the game other than finances.  Yes, its a valid concern, but I doubt they had much to do with the game itself.  And yes, the game is very pro Russia from the sounds of it.  But again, is that REALLY that big of a deal?  It's fiction for starters, and secondly who wouldn't want to be pro their own country?  If Italians made a new game that was painting Italy in a positive light and was "pro Italy" would THAT be that big of a deal?  It's a touchy subject simply because of politics and the war, it has nothing to do with the people themselves in said country (in my opinion).

 

And yes, the second point you made there is very curious indeed.  If there's already a boycott why DID this game get through?  Hard to say for sure.  THAT, is a very valid question and probably deserves some answers.

 

I'm not saying that I'm going to install this game or not.  Probably not to be honest, I'm just not much of a gamer.  I just don't see the problem here if you take things at face value.  It's a video game.  If people outside of Russia bought it, the developers should get paid for their efforts, regardless of their country or nationality.

 

See, I don't care about some war between one group of rich people and another group of rich people.  I care about the people themselves of these places.  And its pretty rough on my heart hearing people hating on Russians or Ukrainians.  Those people themselves have nothing to do with this nonsense, they just want to live their lives, same as the rest of us.

"It'd be like Microsoft being an investor in a pro America video game and people boycotting American made video games because of a war or something."   <--- Nooo, It'd be like the CIA being an investor in a Pro America game and people saying to boycott it because we invaded a country and had been fighting there for a year trying to take it over and released the game on the 1 year anniversary.  That's IF the russian devs have ties to the govt. Nobody seems to know for sure.

 

As to how the game got past,not sure.

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The game aside and given the current discussion, I can't help but wonder where many of us would be were we to have to boycott everything made in China. One man's politics can be another man's tripe.

 

Just one of a number of things these days that make me go hmmm... 🤔

 

 

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48 minutes ago, iamjanco said:

The game aside and given the current discussion, I can't help but wonder where many of us would be were we to have to boycott everything made in China. One man's politics can be another man's tripe.

 

Just one of a number of things these days that make me go hmmm... 🤔

 

 

I'm not sure how that's relavent. The two situations would have some surface level similarities, but would otherwise be very different. Just because a was with China would be more complicated, is no reason to make Ukraine more complicated than it really is. 

 

That, and I am already strongly opposed to Chinese software on my computer. 

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2 hours ago, UltraMega said:

I am already strongly opposed to Chinese software on my computer. 

 

I actually was implying hardware made in China, but that's okay. I realize just how vested we are in such products and it could involve great hardships on us to totally boycott a country like China's products.

 

OTOH, if we're really talking about truly boycotting a country's products...

 

 

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28 minutes ago, iamjanco said:

 

I actually was implying hardware made in China, but that's okay. I realize just how vested we are in such products and it could involve great hardships on us to totally boycott a country like China's products.

 

OTOH, if we're really talking about truly boycotting a country's products...

 

 

Whatever the products in question, I don't think you can really compare Russia and China here. There are US states with larger economys than Russia. China would have massively more to lose if they did something similar because their economy is based so heavily on international trade. If the US stopped trading with China, it would hurt China a lot more than it would hurt the US. China can't grow enough rice for its own population. They simply cannot afford an incident like this. 

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10 hours ago, UltraMega said:

Whatever the products in question, I don't think you can really compare Russia and China here. There are US states with larger economys than Russia. China would have massively more to lose if they did something similar because their economy is based so heavily on international trade. If the US stopped trading with China, it would hurt China a lot more than it would hurt the US. China can't grow enough rice for its own population. They simply cannot afford an incident like this. 

 

Really? Time may tell more than any one of us...

 

2023-02-25_23-07-56.thumb.jpg.f3fb3302d7b76f8ee094bbeed8399d0a.jpg

 

 

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On 25/02/2023 at 10:48, UltraMega said:

If the US stopped trading with China, it would hurt China a lot more than it would hurt the US. China can't grow enough rice for its own population. They simply cannot afford an incident like this. 

Probably  a really excellent reason that we should. It would mean doing without some things, but I think it would be worth it based on the expected outcome.

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