The Russian video game company that are behind the popular hardcore first-person shooter are in silence mode since the beginning of the war in Ukraine.
Although the company is registered in London, the Battlestate Games are a Petersburg-based video game company that reached popularity with the beta release of Escape from Tarkov, a first-person shooter set in the fictional Special Economic Zone of Norvinsk, which serves as an economic bridge between Europe and Russia.
The scenery of Tarkov unfortunately looks very real these last couple of days.
It did not go unnoticed that Battlestate Games have kept quiet for the last six days, and with the ongoing pressure on basically everything Russian, Escape from Tarkov players are starting to ask questions about the video game company's stance on the ongoing situation.
Battlestate Games have not published any tweet, post, or news since the 24th of February. The latest tweet was about the game being on sale for the Defender of the Fatherland Day and since then, they only retweeted a couple of tweets strictly regarding the game.
They have not removed Ukraine server from the game, and have reflected the downfall of the real-life ruble to the in-game economics of Tarkov, as much more rubles are needed to buy euros or dollars at the moment.
But as the silence continues, the rumors are starting to spread, the most recent being that BSG is firing people that are speaking out against the war. That is of course still unconfirmed and only one of many rumors circling without any evidence to support the claims.
The player community is also divided on the issue. One side thinks that a video game company is not required to make a political statement, while the other part thinks the silence is support.
What is going on behind the closed doors of Battlestate Games is unknown, but it's not a desirable position in any way.
On one hand, thousands of Russian citizens have already been arrested for speaking against the war, and numerous domestic news outlets have been censored for the same reason. Nikita, the C.E.O. of the company, and most of the developing team are living and working in Russia, so even if they have the intention of speaking out, the consequences would be unknown.
On the other hand, making a pro-war statement would probably mean the end of Escape from Tarkov, as far as the sales on the west are concerned. They are stuck in a no man's land, and at the moment, the only option that still holds them above water seems to be this neutral silence.
How long can they keep this silence is to be seen. The pressure will probably rise, and at the moment, there is no neutral option on sight that will not have major repercussions for the company either way.