Remember that hilarious games industry support group in Russian parliament? The one with no actual game developers? It’s been holding several meetings since then, discussing, I kid you not, ban on long articles and non-patriotic games, and enforcing e-sports shows on federal TV.
Department of Communications on the other hand just started another games industry support group – this time with real game developers, including Wargaming, Mail.ru and 1C representatives.
Expect some kind of competition between those two, although my money are on DoC group.
Still, games journo group in Parliament generated a lot of hilarious proposals. I would love to see “maximum games article length” enforced.
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.
Remember that meeting between Russian gaming industry representatives and members of Russian parliament? It did happen today, but no one from gaming industry showed up. Timing for this kind of event wasn’t great, because everyone already left for GDC.
So, this was again meeting between Russian gaming press and members of Russian parliament. They did agree that gaming industry could use some investments and even decided to create so-called “Games Academy” to help select Russian game developers for government investments.
Also, some people suggested awards for gamers, e-athletes and gaming press, e-sport events on federal TV and more patriotic games.
Hopefully next time someone from gaming industry will actually show up.
P.S. Russian gaming press in Russian parliament:
Gadji Makhtiev, founder of Kanobu.ru, just posted this picture on twitter.
Basically it says that Russian parliament is inviting Russian games industry professionals on March, 14 to talk about several topics:
1. Analyse investment climate in Russian games industry compared to other countries.
2. Discuss governmental and local investments into Russian games industry.
3. Create public panel (or committee) for investors in games industry.
4. Found an award for Russian games developers from Russian parliament’s Information Technology and Communications Committee.
Last time Russian Parliament invited press to talk about games, there happened a famous outcry from Mail.ru (known as My.com outside Russia) marketing director Mikhail Kochergin against Wargaming.net. Eventually this resulted in his termination from the company after one day of unsuccessful shenanigans.
This should be interesting.