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Russian government offers funding for "patriotic" games

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.

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Matthew Handrahan avatar
Matthew Handrahan: Matthew Handrahan joined GamesIndustry in 2011, bringing long-form feature-writing experience to the team as well as a deep understanding of the video game development business. He previously spent more than five years at award-winning magazine gamesTM.
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