Company of Heroes 2 sales stopped in Russia

The release of the new Company of Heroes was accompanied by an undercurrent of unease in the West over its portrayal of the Eastern Front and the exploits of the Soviet army. In Russia, it’s been more of an overcurrent. Local distributor 1C-SoftClub last week removed the game from sale altogether following a glut of complaints.

In a news post on their website, slightly muddled via Google Translate, the distributor said that its decision to stop selling the game in Russia and CIS territories on July 26 was made “in connection with appeals of people who [considered the game] unacceptable”.

“At the moment we are analyzing the situation and [informing] the developer and publisher of Company of Heroes 2,” said 1C.

Company of Heroes publishers and Relic owners Sega are by now well aware of the situation, and released their own statement to us today.

“Sega and Relic are aware of the press stories circulating concerning Company of Heroes 2 and the historical context of the game from a Russian perspective,” said a rep. “At this time we cannot offer any further comment, however we are taking this issue very seriously and are investigating these concerns thoroughly with all relevant partners.”

1C are no strangers to issues of historical sensitivity - games they’ve introduced to the Eastern European market include Men of War: Vietnam and Red Orchestra 2: Heroes of Stalingrad. In neither case, however, were they compelled to remove the game from sale.

In our Company of Heroes 2 PC review, by contrast, Fraser found that Relic’s portrayal of Russian warfare didn’t seem to go far enough.

“There is a dissonance between the premise and the mechanics,” he wrote.

“Isakovich laments the brutality and cost of Soviet tactics in the cutscenes between missions, but beyond the videos and a few in-mission scripted moments, there’s little in Company of Heroes 2 that can be described as harrowing.

“Despite the Lieutenant’s protests to the contrary, troops are expendable and throwaway, and the execution of the deserters mechanic that Relic touted ends up being almost meaningless,” he added. “For set periods after fresh conscripts are deployed, a commander back at base can shoot routing troops. I only recall one single instance where I actually saw this happen.”

Some of you lot must have finished the new CoH by now. What did you make of its criticism of Soviet warfare?

Thanks, Destructoid.

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4 Years ago

It really was a disgusting portrayal of a Country that lost 20,000,000 people during the war. Terrible things must have obviously happened just as they do in every war from all sides but FFS some perspective would be nice. I wouldn't it doubt if US troops did some awful things as well during the war but they weren't made out as villains (rightfully so obviously) and yet by the end of this campaign the Soviets looked to be a greater evil than Nazi Germany. The game portrays the Soviets as bigger enemies to themselves and their own people than the Nazi's ever were.

There is a part in the game where you are burning homes and there are Russian women running out of them, screaming. There is no documented proof whatsoever that Soviet troops burned their own people alive. They evacuated them and took them to safety if a need to burn the crops and homes arose. To put something like that into the game is completely irresponsible of them.

The odds they faced were awful. They just got out of a war and a revolution yet they were able to beat back the Nazi's all the way to Berlin. The biggest insult was the whole 'photo' bit at the end where it was all for a 'photo.' Are you kidding me? Can you imagine if someone suggested that the US invaded Japan for a photo op of them raising the flag on Iwo Jima? Just think how big of an insult that would be to those soldiers and the Country as a whole.

When you make a game that is supposed to be historically accurate but then proceed to use one single source for your research, a source that is very, very debatable than you are full of it.