Russian Parliament might issue a ban on “war propaganda” in games

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.

  • Moran

    It’s just a draft law. It can be rejected by other deputies. Moreover, it even can never reach the stage of voting.

    • Sergey Galyonkin

      Might get rejected, might not. You never know with Russian Parliament.

      • Пётр Поросятов

        Russian roulette.

  • Dmitriy Zombak

    “Just Russia”? You mean “A Just Russia”? Because you know, it’s just diffirent =)

    • Sergey Galyonkin

      Adjust Russia!

  • Пётр Поросятов

    Oh, FFS!

  • priestling

    I don’t think that such a law is needed but I’m agree that russian patriotic spirit is very low. 20 years of Russian Federation is not the best part of our history.

    Something must be done to prevent russian nation from irreparable degradation. But it must be done in another way.

  • Mike

    I understand Russia’s concern about in-game propaganda. Call of duty is heavily anti-russian and portrays Russia as the enemy of the west. Many will argue it is a fictional story but that’s hardly an excuse, the players will still be left with that impression, stirring up cold war sentiment.
    I don’t think banning the games is a smart move, but something should be done to get the propaganda conversation going.