Russian President Vladimir Putin’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine on Thursday sent waves of shock and disbelief around the world. While NATO and other organizations and countries were scrambling to find a diplomatic solution to the crisis, Russian armed captured key strategic objectives in the country, including military installations in and around the capital of Kyiv.
Unfortunately, and unsurprisingly, innocent civilians were among the first victims of the invasion. An invasion that affected, and will continue to affect, people from all walks of life, including Ukrainian game developers. With the Ukrainian government declaring martial law and shutting down airports to prevent further civilian casualties, many game developers have taken to social media to raise awareness of the situation and ask for aid.
One of the studios that spoke out against the war is GSC Game World, the developers behind the STALKER series. The devs left a grim message on Twitter a few hours ago where they urged everybody to stand in solidarity with Ukraine during these dark times.
The tweets sent by GSC Game World, who is currently working on the highly anticipated STALKER 2: Heart of Chernobyl, came mere hours before news broke out that Russian forces had captured the former nuclear power plant following a fierce battle against Ukrainian forces.
Reports are still unclear whether the radiation shielding around the Chernobyl NPP, which was the site of the world’s largest nuclear disaster in 1986, remains undamaged following the attack.
More Ukrainian Game Developers Speak Out Against the Invasion
Frogwares, the studio behind The Sinking City and the Sherlock Holmes series, is another Ukrainian developer that took to Twitter to speak out against the Russian invasion.
The developers stated that, “We’re a peaceful nation, and in all the years since we gained our independence, we’ve never attacked or threatened anyone. Because of this situation, our work will be impacted and our lives can be destroyed.”
Another message reads as follows:
Meanwhile, a number of other Ukraine-based studios have been trying to draw attention to the desperate situation as well. This includes Sengei Games, the studio behind the upcoming The Serpent Rogue, Vostok Games, developer of Survarium, the developer of upcoming city builder Ostriv, TallBoys, the studio behind Militsioner, and more.
Developer Pyreegue, a studio from Ukraine that worked on many of the airports found in Microsoft Flight Simulator, has yet to make any statements regarding the situation, leading fans of their work to fear for their safety. Some attempted to get in touch with them by raising awareness in a thread on the game’s official forums, however, the thread was swiftly shut down by the mods due to it not being “the appropriate place for political discussion and debate.”
On the same forum, FlightSimGames, another Ukrainian-based development team who had been working on the game, made the following announcement:
“Ladies and Gentlemen, Russia started the War. FSG team have to interrupt developing process. Time from time we will visit this page. I hope this page will be alive! We will defend Ukraine! God bless All of you!
Western Studios in Support of Ukraine
A number of western gaming companies and organizations made statements in support of Ukrainian game developers, and the Ukrainian people in general, throughout the day.
Polish developer 11 Bit Studio released a strongly-worded statement reflecting the anti-war sentiment felt by most people across Europe. The developer also announced that for the next week all profits from the sales of its highly-acclaimed game This War of Mine, and its DLCs, will go towards the Ukrainian Red Cross.
This War of Mine is a fantastic game and we strongly recommend checking it out. The proceeds will go to the Ukrainian Red Cross regardless of where you buy it from.
Meanwhile, German studio Fishlabs, developer of space action game Chorus, also made a statement in support of all those affected by the events.
Other studios like Crytek, Wargaming, and Ubisoft, all of which have subsidiaries or offices in Ukraine, also expressed their support for their friends and employees in the country.
In an email sent to Kotaku, Ubisoft stated that, “The safety and wellbeing of our team members is always our primary concern. We are monitoring the situation closely and have already implemented several measures to help keep our teams in Ukraine safe. We also are providing assistance and aid to all team members. We don’t have more details to share at this time but will continue to monitor and adjust to the situation as it evolves.”
As the situation in Ukraine continues to unfold we expect more and more similar messages of support to continue to pour in from within the gaming industry, and from companies and individuals from all walks of life.
People from all over the world are currently rallying in support of Ukraine and its resistance against these senseless acts of violence. For what it’s worth, we here at BLG stand in support of the Ukrainian people as well.
If you wish to support Ukraine during these difficult times you can visit this subreddit for a list of charities. Consider donating if you are in a position to do so. Every little bit helps.