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Ukraine's government wants to ban Atomic Heart from country's digital stores

Mundfish game also criticised for inclusion of racist cartoon.

The Ukrainian government wants to ban Atomic Heart from digital stores in Ukraine.

Alex Bornyakov, Ukraine's Deputy Minister of Digital Transformation, plans to send an official letter to Sony, Microsoft and Valve to request the ban.

The news follows controversies around Mundfish and its game, previously outlined by Eurogamer, of which more have arisen now the game has been released.

Atomic Heart Gamescom trailerWatch on YouTube

In a statement to tech website Dev.ua, obtained in English by PCGamesN, Bornyakov stated: "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.

"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.

"According to media reports, the game's development was funded by Russian enterprises," Bornyakov 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."

Eurogamer has contacted Mundfish, Sony, Microsoft, and Valve for comment. So far only Sony has responded, declining to comment.

Among multiple controversies, Mundfish has been criticised for disguising its Russian origins, the game's overtly pro-Soviet era themes and its choice of release date on the anniversary of Putin's declaration of war. It has also been accused of harvesting data for Russian authorities, something the developer has denied.

Since the game's release, players have now criticised Mundfish further - for showing an outdated Soviet cartoon which depicts racist imagery.

The game's save rooms contain a television where players can watch old episodes of beloved Soviet children's cartoon Nu, Pogodi! (Well, Just You Wait!). The cartoon has been likened to Tom and Jerry, but one episode includes a racist depiction of an African tribesman.

While this has likely been used for world building of the game's 1950s Soviet vision, no content warning exists in-game and its inclusion is a clumsy addition.

In a separate controversy, the game's sexualised female robots have been likened to Yulia Tymoshenko, leader of the Ukrainian 'Batkivshchyna' political party.

Female robots in Atomic Heart standing tall
The robots in-game

The robots were first spotted in a combat trailer, released for Gamescom last year (above), which includes two female robots dancing, before one is penetrated by the other, accompanied by Russian pop music. It's not only unnecessarily sexualised, but uses sapphic imagery in contrast to Russia's anti-LGBT laws.

The iconic hair braid has since been compared with that of Tymoshenko.

Eurogamer has contacted a spokesperson for Ukraine for more on these issues, but is yet to hear back.

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