When I wrote about Russian age ratings and whatever Russia might add to that law in the future, I never thought it would happen so soon.
According to Izvestia, Russian MP Oleg Mikheev (“A Just Russia”) introduced several amendments to Federal Law #149. As you might remember that’s the one that regulates age ratings for media products including video games.
He is basically asking for ban on certain games despite whatever age rating they might have. Red flags are “war propaganda” and “ethnic, racial or religious intolerance”. Companies found to distribute such games will be fined from 100 thousands roubles to 500 thousands roubles ($2,700-$13,800). Pretty steep rise compared to current fines range (20 thousands to 50 thousands roubles).
Oleg Mikheev is particularly worried about two games: Maidan and Soldiers: Heroes of World War II.
Maidan is a browser-based game about Ukraine, where player has to fight in a future civil war for what is left of the country. The game was developed in Russia by branch of a publishing house Eksmo called Ethnogenesis and spearheaded by Konstantin Rykov, member of ruling “United Russia” party. In Ukraine Maidan is actually considered to be a pro-nazi game.
Soldiers: Heroes of World War II was developed in Ukraine in 2004 and became one of the bestselling WW2 tactical games of its time. It was published by 1C, now part of 1C-Softclub, a leading Russian games distributor.
P.S. I’m really sorry this blog is turning into political news outlet instead of gaming news, but that’s Russian reality today.