Feb 24, 2022 - Technology

Ukraine game studio asks fans to donate to country’s military

A screenshot from S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 showing a character standing in a wasteland with cooling towers in the background.

S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2. Screenshot: GSC Game World

Ukraine’s most prominent video game studio, GSC Game World, appealed to the game industry and its fans to donate money to support their country’s military.

Why it matters: The unprecedented plea came hours after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine began.

What they’re saying: “The future is unknown, but we are sure of our Armed Forces and country,” the studio said in a tweet.

  • “We thus address all of our colleagues in the gaming industry: players, bloggers or anyone who sees this post in their newsfeed: share this, do not stand aside[.] And help those in need.”
  • Last week, a rep for GSC declined to comment to Axios about the Kyiv-based studio’s preparations for a possible invasion, but any caution has given way to a plea for support posted to the game’s Discord, Reddit and Twitter feed.
  • GSC’s newest game, S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2: Heart of Chernobyl was meant to be a marquee PC and console release this spring, before it was delayed last month.

Between the lines: Game developers and tech workers, like millions of other people in Ukraine, have been grappling for weeks with how to deal with what used to be just the threat of Russian invasion.

  • Last week, some told Axios they were leaving the country, hoping for the best and despondent about leaving their home.

More industry reaction to the invasion:

  • Publisher Ubisoft, which has multiple studios in Ukraine, reiterated to Axios that they are “providing assistance to aid all team members.”
  • Riot Games’ Valorant esports division said it was suspending a tournament that involves teams in Ukraine and Russia.
  • Polish-based 11bit Games says it will donate the next seven days’ worth of revenue from its hit anti-war game This War Of Mine to the Ukrainian Red Cross.
  • Game studios and developers, including Bungie CEO Pete Parsons and Poland-based Draw Distance, expressed solidarity with Ukraine.
  • And this from Kyiv-based Vostok Games:
A tweet showing a picture of a waving Ukrainian flag.
Screenshot: @VostokGames

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Editor’s note: This story has been corrected to note that Draw Distance is based in Poland (not in New York).

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