Atomic Heart Is A Huge Success But Is Being Surrounded By Controversy
Fans are calling for a boycott of Atomic Heart because its developers are based in Russia.
According to Kotaku, Atomic Heart already dethroned Hogwarts Legacy, and it currently rules the best-selling list on Steam. Just like Hogwarts Legacy, which is now the center of controversy due to JK Rowling’s disagreement with LGBTQIA+ activists, Atomic Heart is also the center of controversy due to the fact that the game is developed by Mudfish, a Russian developer studio. Many are now calling for a boycott of the game, much like they did with Hogwarts Legacy, but just like the Wizarding title, the Russian game is apparently here to stay.
There’s a lot of situational resemblance in regard to both aforementioned titles. Fans on Twitter are calling on the public to boycott Atomic Heart. So far, their success, as was the case with Hogwarts Legacy, can be described as a spectacular failure.
There are those who are aware that the graphically beautiful Atomic Heart is a Russian-made game and simply don’t care about politics.
Atomic Heart currently has a “Very Positive” rating on Steam—a gaming company that continues to maintain its apolitical attitude—based on more than 11,000 reviews. That’s 11,000 positive reviews in less than 10 days since it was released, which only attests to the successfulness of the backlash and boycotting campaign against Atomic Heart. To be entirely honest, Hogwarts Legacy and Cyberpunk 2077 are probably the biggest and best examples showing that there isn’t such thing as bad publicity in gaming.
Still, Atomic Heart relies heavily on pro-Soviet Russia propaganda and themes which currently don’t sit well with the world’s political scene. Additionally, Mudfish fell in the people’s eyes following a tweet in which they stated that they’re a global team with many developers from Ukraine. They stated that they’re a pro-peace organization and that they’re against any form of violence.
It’s a pretty diplomatic answer that states their attitude toward violence but doesn’t point any fingers. You simply don’t bite the hand that feeds.
Therein lies the core of the controversy: Mudfish was originally a Moscow studio, and Russian media portrays it as a purely Russian studio. Additionally, the financial success of Atomic Heart is likely going to benefit Russia financially due to the involvement of GEM Capital, an international investment company originating from Russia. Some are even suggesting that Atomic Heart—by all accounts, a Russian BioShock—is actually collecting data for Russia, even though Mudfish denies these allegations.
However, the story doesn’t end there. When Mudfish remained vague on their stance towards the war in Ukraine, the Ukrainian government urged some of the most prominent online storefronts to pull Atomic Heart from sales. Of course, that didn’t happen.
While for now Atomic Heart and Hogwarts Legacy seem to be ruling the roost, there’s a real chance that the upcoming Call of Duty game will shake things up.