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Russian government offers funding for "patriotic" games

Russian government offers funding for "patriotic" games

Wed 09 Oct 2013 8:18am GMT / 4:18am EDT / 1:18am PDT
PublishingDevelopment

Culture minister hints at bleak future for games showing Russian soldiers in a negative light

The Russian government plans to offer financial incentives to local developers to create games about the country's history.

Speaking to the Russian daily Izvestiya, an aide to Vladimir Medinsky, the country's culture minister, impressed the need for the games to be accurate depictions of real events.

"The main thing we expect from the producers of video games is the realistic and historically truthful representation of events," said Arseny Mironov, Medinsky's aide.

"A video game has to have not only an entertainment value, but it also has to teach and be conducive to patriotic education."

Of course, 'realism' and 'patriotism' do not always go hand-in-hand, and while Mironov did not recognise that contradiction, he made it clear that games featuring, "negative image[s] of the Russian warrior," would not qualify for government support.

The initiative will be under the auspices of the Russian Military History Society, which is in turn controlled by Medinsky. The society's inaugural game, which will focus on the country's military aviation programme in the First World War, is already in development, and negotiations with several other Russian developers are now under way. Mironov confirmed that the government would eventually establish a grant scheme for "patriotic" game ideas.

Of greater concern were Mironov's comments about games that misrepresent history to, "discredit the Russian soldier." He suggested that the government would consider banning such games in the future, pointing to Relic's Company of Heroes 2 as an example.

Company of Heroes 2 attracted criticism from Russian officials at the time of its release, specifically due to its depictions of the behaviour of Russian soldiers.

Thanks, The Hollywood Reporter.

10 Comments

Thomas Dolby
Project Manager / Lead Programmer

319 253 0.8
I hate the idea of censorship, but If it's only referring to games that unfairly portray Russian soldiers in a negative light I could be more sympathetic with their position (I don't like it when games portray all German soldiers in WW2 as evil homicidal Nazis), but with what I know about Russian politics I'm a lot more sure that this just refers to everything they don't like the look of. I bet they'd have no problems with games that exaggerate Russian victories though.

"Portray Russian history as realistic and truthful as possible, except for when it's bad"

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Thomas Dolby on 9th October 2013 1:36pm

Posted:6 months ago

#1

Jakub Mikyska
CEO

177 880 5.0
Although there is no doubt that Russia is back on its way towards culture control, to be fair, US is doing the same thing with public as well as hidden support of various pro-military films and TV shows.
Kudos to Russians for recognizing games' importance. Bad thing for every free mind out there in Russia.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Jakub Mikyska on 9th October 2013 2:19pm

Posted:6 months ago

#2

Alex O'Dwyer
Animator

162 155 1.0
Not all that dissimilar to the proposed cultural test for UK games tax incentives.......
Marks are awarded for having UK development staff, UK characters and a British story, and being recorded in the English language.

Posted:6 months ago

#3

Neil Young
Programmer

232 186 0.8
@Alex. Not really - a game of v for vendetta would presumably pass the relevant parts of the tax breaks, but would presumably fail an equivalent to the "negative image" being discussed here.

Posted:6 months ago

#4
Russians have every right to be annoyed at the way they are portrayed in games, especially WW2 games.

However...

""The main thing we expect from the producers of video games is the realistic and historically truthful representation of events," said Arseny Mironov"

Well, 20 million Russians died under Stalin's regime, and that's discounting the war dead.

I'd say be careful of what you wish for Russia.

Posted:6 months ago

#5

Tim Ogul
Illustrator

272 325 1.2
So I take it they won't be going halvesies on the next Goldeneye remake?

Posted:6 months ago

#6

Greg Wilcox
Creator, Destroy All Fanboys!

1,993 902 0.5
Well, I guess that upcoming Stalingrad game should be a doozy, then. "You men, armed or not, march into that withering fire by the thousands or get shot in the back..." The commander said, asking extra nicely...

Posted:6 months ago

#7

Klaus Preisinger
Freelance Writing

953 804 0.8
Why make it a WW2 snorefest? Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan Call of Duty style. You get all the crazy government conspiracies you could ever wish for, you can still paint the Russians as having good intentions towards the Afghan regime and cash that government subsidy and you get the first appearance of Osama Bin Laden as a side character. And you get terrifying parallels to the U.S. invasion decades later. The very structure of the conflict nad its chaotically organized local warlords is the best thing that could happen for a DLC scheme. You cannot ask for more. Bobby Kotick, cash that cheque!

Posted:6 months ago

#8

Alfonso Sexto
Lead Tester

714 494 0.7
Somehow I would like to see a game with a patriotic Russian protagonist that fights for his country and it's people against zombies, invaders, whatever. The game will also offer small didactic moments in which parts of the rich and massive Russian history will be explained.

Finally, I will make that protagonist an open homosexual.

Then I will sit and watch the confusion of the Russian government while trying to set his priorities straight.

Posted:6 months ago

#9

Bruce Everiss
Marketing Consultant

1,716 598 0.3
It must be so tempting to make a game with Pussy Riot as the heroes and Putin as the gay villain.

Posted:6 months ago

#10

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