Atomic Heart controversy explained: Russia involvement rumors spark concern

Andrew Highton
twin robots in atomic heart

Even though Atomic Heart has generated a lot of hype and excitement ahead of its release, the game also garnered some criticism. Our explainer will walk you through Atomic Heart’s controversy and the issues surrounding the title.

Atomic Heart has maintained a nice level of buzz in the background while other games have come to the fore in 2023. Its wild gameplay looks reminiscent of other popular franchises in the genre such as 2K’s legendary Bioshock series.

On the flip side, the positivity for Atomic Heart has come under the spotlight following tweets by developer Mundfish.

Let’s catch you up with everything surrounding Atomic Heart and its controversy.

What is the Atomic Heart controversy?

The first murmurings of discontent surrounding Atomic Heart began on January 16, 2023, when Mundfish’s official Twitter account posted a statement regarding questions about the company.

Gamers wanted to know if Russia had been directly involvement in the game and if they’ve helped to fund the game. These apprehensions were understandable given that the game’s concept is about a KGB agent in a world where Russia has developed game-changing Polymer technology and won World War II.

“Guys, we have noted the questions surrounding where we, at Mundfish, stand. We want to assure you that Mundfish is a developer and studio with a global team focused on an innovative game and is undeniably a pro-peace organization against violence against people,” was the first response to the general accusations.

This was subsequently followed up by a couple of additional comments in a thread to their own tweet.

“We do not comment on politics or religion. Rest assured; we are a global team focused on getting Atomic Heart into the hands of gamers everywhere” and “We do not, and will not, condone contributors or spammers with offensive, hateful, discriminatory, violent, or threatening language or content,” they said.

The post did not directly address the subject of whether Russia had direct involvement in the game, and the lack of clarity added fuel to the fire and provoked further questioning.

It is argued that if the Russian government stands to benefit from the game, then there’s a chance that purchasing the game could indirectly contribute to Russia’s efforts in the ongoing invasion of Ukraine.

Concerns were exacerbated by a discovery from that on Mundfish’s company’s store a line was in the privacy policy reads: “Mundfish collects users’ data and may provide it to Russian state authorities.”

Alarm bells were immediately signaled and once it became viral Mundfish responded to shut down any potential unrest it could cause.

“Our game and website DO NOT collect any information or data. The website’s privacy statement is outdated and wrong and should have been removed years ago. We have shut down the shop to assure our fans of the integrity of our studio and products. We apologize for any confusion on this matter,” Mundfish told GamesRadar.

Following Atomic Heart’s release on February 21, 2023, the Ukrainian Tech website, reported that the Ukrainian Government has plans to write a letter to Sony, Microsoft, and Valve to remove the game from digital stores in Ukraine.

According to a translation from PCGamesN, Ukraine’s Deputy Minister of Digital Transformation Alex Bornyakov said, “Regarding the situation with the release of the game Atomic Heart, which has Russian roots and romanticises communist ideology and the Soviet Union, The Ministry of Digital Transformation of Ukraine will send an official letter to Sony, Microsoft, and Valve requesting a ban on selling digital versions of this game in Ukraine.”

Bornyakov also expressed interests in the companies to limit “the distribution of this game in other countries” as well, due to its “toxicity, potential data collection of users, and the potential use of money raised from game purchases to conduct a war against Ukraine.”

This subject of Atomic Heart having any connection to the Russian government is still unclear.

We will update this article with any developments regarding the controversy.

In the meantime, read about Atomic Heart and everything we know about the game:

Does Atomic Heart have microtransactions? | How long is Atomic Heart? Main story length & completionist run | Is Atomic Heart open-world? | Is Atomic Heart on Xbox Game Pass? | Does Atomic Heart have multiplayer or co-op? | Atomic Heart PC Requirements: Minimum & recommended specs

About The Author

Andrew Highton is a former Games Writer for Dexerto. He has a Creative Writing degree from Liverpool John Moores University and has previously written for games websites such as Twinfinite and Keengamer. With 13,000+ PlayStation Trophies to his name, Andrew is a fan of a huge variety of video games, his favourites being God of War and Metal Gear Solid. Contact him at, on Twitter @AndyHighton8 or at