Games Industry Reacts to Russian Invasion of Ukraine: '#StandWithUkraine'
Several prominent game development studios based in Ukraine have spoken out about Russia's invasion of the country earlier this week.
STALKER 2 studio GSC Game World struck a defiant stance in a statement released Thursday, and called for international aid to Ukraine.
"Our country woke up with the sounds of explosions and weapons fire, but is ready to defend its freedom and independence, for it remains strong and ready for anything. The future us unknown, but we hope for the best, are ever sure of our armed forced and our belief in Ukraine," reads the statement. It also provided the number for a special account the National Bank of Ukraine to which people can donate to support the Ukrainian armed forces: UA843000010000000047330992708.
Ubisoft has two studios in Ukraine, including one in the capital, Kyiv. These locations work on implementing accessibility and customization in Assassin's Creed games, and work on the engine powering the games.
"We are monitoring the situation closely and have already implemented several measure to help keep our teams in Ukraine safe," the company told Eurogamer. "We also are providing assistance and aid to all team members. We don't have more details to share at this time but will continue to monitor and adjust to the situation as it evolves."
Vostok Games, the Kyiv-based studio behind Suvarium, tweeted Friday that "as things stand we are safe.
"We continue our work remotely for the moment and will react to the situation, depending on how it develops." It also reiterated its support for the Ukrainian armed forces.
Sengi Games, developer of The Serpent Rogue, said it would "not be able to answer or help you that much with the game atm."
The Sinking City and Sherlock Holmes studio Frogwares told Kotaku some of its staff had been awoken that morning by the sounds of explosions.
"Everyone has been bracing for this yet there is still a massive sense of shock that it has come to this," said a representative. "We have people all over Ukraine so a few woke today at 5 a.m. to the sound of shelling and rockets hitting nearby.
"The bulk of the team are in Kyiv and they have said there is a fair bit of public unrest and commotion now in the streets as people start to either stock up on supplies or try to leave for the outskirts."
The representative said work at the studio had all but halted as employees prepared for the growing conflict.
"There is of course a massive sense of frustration and anger too. Our country has been invaded for reasons beyond normal comprehension and under ridiculous pretenses. And so now everyone watches in horror as a situation that has been draining us for almost 8 years gets even worse."
Several companies have pledged support to Ukraine in the wake of the invasion. Polish studio 11 Bit will donate all the sales from its anti-war game This War of Mine to the Ukrainian Red Cross for the next week. UK-based studio Bulkhead, developer of The Turing Test, will donate £1,000 to the same organization.
The Poland-based CD Projekt Group has announced its storefront, GOG, will also donate its share of This War of Mine sales to the Ukrainian Red Cross, and the Projekt Group itself will donate 1 million PLN ($242,909.90) to the Polish humanitarian organization Polish Humanitarian Action.
Bungie will donate all the proceeds from the first 48 hours of its Game2Give drive to humanitarian aid efforts in Ukraine, and directed players to where they could donate for themselves.
"Our hearts are with our friends and families affected by the events in Ukraine," the studio wrote on Twitter.