Ukrainian government will petition Valve, Sony, Microsoft to ban Atomic Heart in Ukraine

Atomic Heart
(Image credit: Mundfish)

The Ukrainian government will petition Valve, Microsoft, and Sony to ban sales of Atomic Heart on their corresponding storefronts.

Earlier today on February 22, Ukrainian deputy minister of digital transformation Alex Bornyakov issued a statement to Ukrainian website (which was translated by PCGamesN). In short, the Ukrainian government is seeking to get digital sales of the Russian-developed Atomic Heart halted on several platforms, but only in Ukraine.

"Regarding the situation with the release of the game Atomic Heart, which has Russian roots and romanticises communist ideology and the Soviet Union, The Ministry of Digital Transformation of Ukraine will send an official letter to Sony, Microsoft, and Valve requesting a ban on selling digital versions of this game in Ukraine," Bornyakov told the outlet.

"We also urge limiting the distribution of this game in other countries due to its toxicity, potential data collection of users, and the potential use of money raised from game purchases to conduct a war against Ukraine," Bornyakov's statement continues. The "potential data collection of users" part of this sentence refers to a previous statement on developer Mundfish's website, revealing it would collect data from Atomic Heart users on behalf of the Russian government.

When asked by GamesRadar+ for clarification surrounding the collection of data, Mundfish said this was an outdated portion of their website, and denied the data harvesting completely. After the statement was issued to GamesRadar+, the entire section of Mundfish's website pertaining to the data collection was deleted.

"According to media reports, the game’s development was funded by Russian enterprises," the Ukrainian minister continues. "Therefore, we call for all users worldwide to avoid this game. We also want to emphasise that the game developers have not publicly condemned the Putin regime and the bloody war that Russia has unleashed against Ukraine."

Atomic Heart's development being funded by Russian enterprises, and by extension, the Russian government, is a claim that's been under intense scrutiny worldwide over the last few weeks. As PC Gamer's extensive breakdown of the situation reports, links between the founder of a company partly funding Atomic Heart's development and the Russian government are tenuous at best, and hard to establish for certain.

Earlier this year in January though, Mundfish came under intense scrutiny for stopping short of naming the Russian invasion of Ukraine in their anti-war statement. Potential players swore off playing the game on the statement alone, and a few weeks later, Atomic Heart's composer announced he'd donate his entire fee to a charity supporting Ukrainian refugees. 

Bornyakov's new statement today is just the latest controversy to surround Atomic Heart and developer Mundfish over the last few months. Whether Valve, Microsoft, or Sony responds to Bornyakov's letter petitioning them for the removal of Atomic Heart from Ukrainian storefronts remains to be seen.

You can read our full Atomic Heart review for our extensive thoughts on the final product from Mundfish.

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.