Starni Games’ Strategic Mind: Blitzkrieg came under attack from Russia’s Federation Council.
It is a WWII turn-based strategy game in which the player leads the German Armed forces with a purpose of “claiming the ultimate bittersweet victory in Europe,” according to the description on Steam.
Winning the game results in the cinematic featuring the triumphant Hitler on the Red Square:
Senator Franz Klintsevich accused the game of the Nazi propaganda: “This violates the internation law, not just in Russia, but all over the world, as promoting the fascist ideology. This is a criminal offence.”
The allegations were picked up by TV channel Russia 1.
Following this, the developers lost access to their YouTube channel, while Facebook deleted the cinematic with Hitler.
Starni Games took to Reddit to offer their interpretation of what happened:
“Starni Games has to clarify – in no way we’re trying to glorify the Nazi ideology, we strongly condemn their deeds. We’ve created a historical game with alternate history possibilities: if the player loses there are Soviet troops taking Reichstag and if he wins one of the battles German troops are taking Moscow. If you win the battle of Moscow you indeed can witness the alternate history moment with German parade on the Red Square.”
The developers also notice that the title has been properly denazified, with all prohibited historical symbols removed from the title. Starni further state the they “try to make games that will present the WW2 history from the perspective of different countries,” with the next installment of the series planned to focus on the USSR and Allies.
The studio has previously released Strategic Mind: The Pacific. That title, however, featured both the US and Japan campaigns, so players could choose which side they bring to victory. In Blitzkrieg, on the other hand, defeating Hitler only takes place if the player loses. To be fair, the Steam reviews indicate a solid gameplay.
Overall, the debate around Strategic Mind: Blitzkrieg has already given the game lots of media exposure (hey, even from us!). But ultimately, it might not be the good kind.