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Mobile studio turns developer into a DLC character to help secretly fund his prosthetic arm

War Robots
(Image credit: Pixonic)

A Russian developer helped an employee get a prosthetic arm by turning him into an in-game DLC character.

That developer would be Pixonic, and the employee would be Andrey Kvasov (thanks, VGC). In November 2019, Kvasov was involved in a vehicle accident, where he would end up losing an arm, a finger on the other hand, and an ear. Despite all this however, Kvasov returned to work at developer Pixonic just four months later in the same IT support role.

It's now been revealed that when he returned to work, Pixonic asked Kvasov if he wanted to be featured in their new game, War Robots, according to a blog post on Russian site Pikabu written by Kvasov. When developers approached Kvasov and asked if he wanted to be featured as himself an in-game Pilot character in War Robots, Kvasov "didn't even consider refusing," as he'd "dreamed of becoming a character in a computer game" since he was a child.

Just a few months later in Summer 2021, a DLC character dedicated to Andrey Kvasov was added to War Robots. Although the DLC character description omitted details of Andrey's accident, the character themselves featured a prosthetic arm, and  their in-game story described someone who was heroically able to return to work after having their physical abilities altered.

Crucially though, Kvasov's DLC character was restricted to the battle pass for War Robots, meaning players would have to pay to unlock access. Proceeds from these purchases went towards a prosthetic arm for Kvasov, which the development team at Pixonic kept secret from the developer, only revealing this to him after a "certain amount" had accumulated. 

"This came as a complete and pleasant surprise to me. The players also found out that the story was real, after the fact," writes Kvasov of the experience. "Each pilot owner received a free buff and a notification that the money invested in this activity went towards buying a prosthesis for a real person. The players were very welcoming of the news and I received a lot of kind words."

When Kvasov received his real-life prosthetic arm from the funds raised, his in-game character was also adorned with a prosthetic arm, to reflect the change. Kvasov rounds out his blog post on Pikabu by thanking everyone, writing that although "it's cheesy," it's "the sort of thing that you only learn to appreciate when you lose it."

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Hirun Cryer

Hirun Cryer is a freelance reporter and writer with Gamesradar+ based out of U.K. After earning a degree in American History specializing in journalism, cinema, literature, and history, he stepped into the games writing world, with a focus on shooters, indie games, and RPGs, and has since been the recipient of the MCV 30 Under 30 award for 2021. In his spare time he freelances with other outlets around the industry, practices Japanese, and enjoys contemporary manga and anime.