Major companies across the western video games industry have voiced their support for Ukraine during the Russian invasion.
Unsurprisingly, these shows of support have been led by developers based in the former Soviet state.
“We can’t just stand by,” tweeted Frogwares, the developers of the Sherlock Holmes series. “Russia attacks our homeland and denies the sovereignty of Ukraine.”
“We are trying to stay safe, but this is war, there are no two ways about it,” they said. “We call on everyone to force Putin to withdraw from our lands #StopRussianAggression”
GSC Game World, the developers behind the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. series, also took to Twitter to inform their players, “As of today, the Russian Federation has officially declared war on Ukraine.”
“Our country woke up with the sounds of explosions and weapons fire,” GSC Game World reassured, “but it is ready to defend its freedom and independence, for it remains strong and ready for anything. The future is unknown, but we hope for the best, are ever sure of our armed forces and our belief in Ukraine.”
“We thus address all of our colleagues in the gaming industry,” They continued, before calling on “players, bloggers, or anyone else who sees this post in their newsfeed” to “share this, do not stand aside and help those in need.”
GSC Game World then shared the details of the “Special aid account to support the armed forces of Ukraine,” and noted that “transfers are possible from all over the globe.”
“Through pain, death, war, fear and inhuman cruelty, Ukraine will persevere” GSC Game World concluded their statement. “As it always does.”
Pandemic Express and Where The Clouds End developer TALLBOYS posted a far more direct statement, asserting, “F–k the war, this morning we woke up in the middle of madness. F–k the war, there is only feelings of anger and powerlessness.”
“F–k the war, we do not condone it in any shape of form,” they added, “f–k the ones who do and also F–k the F—–g War. #нетвойне #StopWar”
Vostok Games, best known for their now-defunct Survarium and who are currently working on a yet-to-be-announced AAA shooter, simply tweeted the Ukrainian flag and the hashtag #StandwithUkraine.”
11 bit studios, the Polish developers behind wartime survival game This War is Mine, offered more than a tweeted statement.
“Today Russian military forces attacked the free country of Ukraine -our neighbours,” they began. “As a Polish game studio and creators of the globally recognised anti-war game, This War of Mine – one that directly speaks about the suffering and misery of civilians who are affected by war – we’d like to hereby announce our company statement.”
“We stand against the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Just words would be empty without a meaningful act though, and the timing is crucial,” 11 bit studios then stated, before announcing “So the act is as follows: For the next seven days, all profits from This War of Mine, all its DLCs, on all stores and all platforms will go to a special fund. A week from now, this money will be donated to the Ukrainian Red Cross to directly support victims of war in Ukraine.”
“Let this message resonate with everything you know about this war and how war kills people, devastates their lives and homes,” their statement concluded. “Let us -players and developers together – do everything we can to support victims of war in Ukraine.”
AAA developers and publishers across the globe have also spoken out in support of Ukraine, with some evenannouncing their own charitable efforts.
“Our hearts are with our friends and families affected by the events in Ukraine, Bungie tweeted. “We will be donating 100% of the proceeds of the first 48 hours of our Game2Give drive to humanitarian aid efforts in response to ongoing conflict.”
The former Halo developer later revealed this drive eventually raised $70,000 for humanitarian aid.
In a statement to IGN, Ubisoft stated that they had responded to the crisis by providing financial support and housing for its Ukrainian developers.
“Across Ubisoft, our hearts are with our teams in Ukraine, and we are providing them support and assistance as they navigate this difficult time,” they told the video game news outlet. “The safety and wellbeing of our teams and their families is our primary concern, and Ubisoft is fully mobilized to support them moving forward.”
“Over the past few months, Ubisoft has been closely monitoring the situation and has put in place measures to help protect our teams,” they explained. “Last week, we recommended our employees take shelter in a place they consider safe.”
In addition, Ubisoft noted that they had “provided all team members in Ukraine with additional funds to help them cover exceptional costs, such as those related to their travel and relocation, and has paid salaries in advance to account for any potential disruption to banking systems,” as well as “housing in neighboring countries where teams and their families can take shelter if they wish and are able to do so.”
“To ensure we stay closely connected with all teams, we have set up hotlines to respond to their questions and needs and have put in place an emergency communication system should infrastructures grow unstable,” they reassured the public. “We will continue to adapt and reinforce our assistance as the situation evolves.”
Later, in reiteraring the above in their own statement published to their official website Ubisoft announced that they would be “donating a total of 200,000 euros to the Ukrainian Red Cross and Save the Children to help meet the urgent needs of the Ukrainian population.”
Poland-based Dying Light 2 developer Techland tweeted, “The ongoing war in Ukraine has left us devastated and heartbroken beyond words,” and assured their followers that “In the past few days, we’ve been focusing on ensuring our employees and their families are safe and receive support.
“We’ve also joined the efforts of the Polish gaming community, in supporting our neighbours from Ukraine by donating 1 mln PLN [$230,272] to @PAH_org – an organization that provides humanitarian assistance to people affected by the conflict,” the developer continued. “Our thoughts are with the people of Ukraine.”
Days after announcing that their creative director Sergey “SerB” Burkatovskiy was no longer part of the company after he voiced support for Russia, Wargaming announced they were also providing support for both their developers in Ukraine and the country’s people.
“At Wargaming, the safety and security of our employees is the top priority,” Wargaming stated. “Currently, all available company resources are helping and supporting our 550+ colleagues: providing them with alternate housing, early salary payments, additional funds to aid travel and relocation.”
They further explained that they were “helping our employees’ families to travel neighboring countries and organizing accommodation for them,” and that they would be donating $1m to the Ukrainian Red Cross.”
“These funds will be used to support Ukrainian hospitals and doctors, those citizens who have been displaced and other vital activities of the humanitarian organization as is needed,” the developer elaborated. “We will be able to proceed with further humanitarian help if situation requires.”
After their parent company removed Russian teams from FIFA 22 and NHL 22, the Battlefield development team announced, “In light of current events we have disabled the Weekly Missions system for this week, and this weeks reward is no longer available to unlock #Battlefield2042”.
“Players who have already completed this weeks mission will not be affected,” the Battlefield Direct Comms Twitter account said. “Weekly Missions will return next week.” The reward in question would have been an alternative skin for the Mi-240 Super Hind Russian Federation heavy air transport dubbed “Grim Reaper.”
Another major group to condemn the invasion was The Embracer Group, whose holdings including such entertainment producers as Dark Horse Media, Gearbox Entertainment, Koch Media, Saber Interactive, and THQ Nordic.
Acknowleding that “millions of people are experiencing unthinkable hardships in Ukraine,” the Embracer Group announced that they had “decided to donate one-million US dollars for humanitarian aid to support those impacted through esteemed organizations such as the International Committee of the Red Cross, SOS Children’s Villages, and ACT Alliance among others.”
“In addition,” the Embracer group concludes, “our Group CEO, Lars Wingefors, will match this donation with another one-million US dollar pledge to support our employees and contractors who are directly impacted by this crisis.”
This is only a handful of the developers openly denouncing Russia, and more are sure to follow as a snowball effect begins to take form across not just the video games industry, but other industries as well.
Amid the invasion, Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Mykhailo Fedorov called on the western games industry to “temporarily block all Russian and Belarusian accounts, temporarily stop the participation of Russian and Belarusian teams and gamers in all international esports events and cancel all international events holding on the territory of Russia and Belarus.”
What do you think of the Western gaming industry’s outpouring of support for Ukraine? Let us know on social media and in the comments below.