Sergey “SerB” Burkatovskiy is no longer Creative Director for video game developer Wargaming – best known for their free-to-play World of Tanks, Warplanes, and Warships titles – after expressing support for the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Rykoszet-info reports (translated via Google Translate) that on February 25th, Burkatovskiy declared in a now-deleted Facebook post, “I support the operation of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, the DPR and the LPR. The rest are nuances.”
DPR refers to the Donetsk People’s Republic, while LPR denotes the Luhansk People’s Republic. Both are break-away states from Ukraine that formed after the 2014 Ukraine revolution, and at current, only Russia recognizes them as their own separate state entity.
In a follow-up post, Burkatovskiy noted that an unspecified Facebook post of his was removed for violating Facebook’s Community Standards. “Well, comrade citizens, they snitched …” he said. “Smack everyone in this chat.”
Rykoszet-info reports Wargaming released a statement, though this cannot currently be found on their official website, Twitter, or Facebook. Dev.by claims this statement came after they approached Wargaming for a statement on Burkatovskiy’s comments.
“Sergey is an employee of the company and expressed his personal opinion, which categorically does not coincide with the position of the company,” the statement reportedly read. “All our forces are now focused on helping our over 550 colleagues from Kiev and their families.”
Approached by Rykoszet-info for comment on Burkatovskiy’s opinions, Wargaming told the news outlet, “Sergey is an employee of the company and expressed his personal opinion, which categorically does not coincide with the position of the company.”
“All our forces are now focused on helping our over 550 colleagues from Kiev and their families,” the company added.
The veracity of both Burkatovskiy’s original post and Wargaming’s statement was later confirmed by the developer himself, who announced on Facebook that he was no longer employed by Wargaming.
“Broke up with VG,” Burkatovsky posted, adding a description of the image of a retracting drawbridge that he attached for emphasis. “For those who do not have pictures loaded – drawbridge.zhpg.”
Asked for comment once again by Ryokszet-info, this time regarding Bukatovskiy’s ‘break-up’ post, Wargaming stated, “Sergei’s opinion is in complete contradiction with the company’s position. He is no longer an employee of Wargaming.”
It was not stated whether Burkatovskiy had left or been terminated.
As for Wargaming’s efforts on supporting their Ukranian employees, YouTuber NoZoupForYou reports that the company has paused most of their advertising worldwide amid the Russian-Ukraine War, asking affiliates to avoid promoting their games for an indefinite period and to halt all World of Warships ad campaigns featuring images of military equipment.
What do you make of Burkatovskiy’s exit from Wargaming? If he was fired for his opinion, do you think Wargaming was right to do so? Let us know on social media and in the comments below.