Last month, you may recall, we brought you news of an intergalactic war game called Romanians In Space. Mainly because we liked the name.

In the world of RIS, Romanians have taken over the galaxy, and rule over humans and aliens alike. But a few supporters of the former republic of Hungary have teamed up to fight for independence, and it's your job - as a pilot in the Romanian fleet - to sort them out.

Apparently, a lot of real life Hungarians aren't too happy about the way their nation is portrayed in the game. It's already been the subject of discussion on Hungarian TV, and has won a "Lemon award" from GameStar, Hungary's biggest gaming magazine.

Meanwhile flame wars have erupted on dozens of forums, both Romanian and Hungarian, including the forum of developer 2 Bad Design - where one poster wrote: "The problem with this game is that it makes people hate. I mean, if a Romanian kid plays this game, even if he never saw a Hungarian before, he plays the game [and sees the Hungarians] are the enemy, they are the bad ones, of course he will hate them...

"This racist thingy is going on in real life too, not only in the Romanii In Spatiu videogame, believe me I know."

It's not just Hungarians who are offended, either. One poster from Luxembourg wrote: "This let's say 'game' is a bullsh**. People like that kind who figured out this game are to be in prison. Have a f****** bad day from now Gents."

But not everyone thinks the game is that bad. Another poster added: "You know, I'm Hungarian, and I laughed when I heard of this game about Romanians conquering the galaxy, and still fighting with 'Hungarian separatists'.

"You see, our problem's here. Even if you Romanians ruled the world you'd be dealing with old hatreds against Hungary. And I've come here and seen my fellow countrymen swearing, flaming, bitching on this forum because of the same hatred between us. That's irritating."

So what do the game's creators have to say on the matter? Well, developer "Johnny B." is certainly enjoying reading the forum: "As for the flame war, PLEASE don't stop it just because it's really embarassing for you to get all fired up over some developers' wild imaginations that evidently sprout politically incorrect ideas out of sheer boredom, that, in turn, is probably caused by the heaps of conventional wargame storylines (i.e. Americans kill Germans, Japanese, Vietnamese, and whatnot).

"I don't remember those unfortunate ethnicities making such a fuss about games that involve killing their fellow countrymen, but hey, maybe those guys have better things to do, or at least have enough confidence in themselves not to be offended by such measly things."

Johnny B. also has a special request for "our dear Hungarian neighbours"; he wants those who are protesting against Romanians In Space "To continue swearing in Hungarian, because we (the developers) are in dire need of Hungarian dialogue, and have yet to get hold of a willing native speaker to write it for us, so you just might get to contribute in a small way to the game."

Romanians In Space is out this autumn. Assuming a war hasn't kicked off by then.

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Ellie Gibson

Ellie Gibson

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Ellie spent nearly a decade working at Eurogamer, specialising in hard-hitting executive interviews and nob jokes. These days she does a comedy show and podcast. She pops back now and again to write the odd article and steal our biscuits.

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