On the day the Atomic Heart game was launched, the Ministry of Digital Transformation of Ukraine urged users to cancel the release and set a course for a complete ban on the digital versions’ sale of the game in Ukraine. To make it happen, the Ministry of Digital Transformation will send an official letter to Sony, Microsoft, and Valve. Ironically, the day of the game's release was allegedly accidentally postponed to the date of Putin's address to the federal assembly.
The reason for the boycott is that Atomic Heart is dangerous for Ukrainian citizens. In addition to hidden hints of Russian aggression, total propaganda of the USSR and the use of old photographs of Ukrainian cities, the problem also lies in the company itself.
The Molfar OSINT community conducted an investigation and found many compromising facts about the game developer Atomic Heart. Among the most noteworthy: "leaking" data to Russian government agencies, ties with "systemic" Russian companies Mail.ru Group, "Pervyi Kanal" (First Channel), United Russia, Gazprom, ties with Russian oligarchs, hidden employees from Russia, hidden Russian origin of sanctioned investors. There is also a bad attitude towards employees, the use of other people's designs and development solutions, inexperienced managers and other classic Russian business style things.
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Atomic Heart's ties to the Russian Federation
So, first, we need to identify the studio that developed the Atomic Heart computer game. The website's footer lists the legal entity as Mundfish Ltd, but no legal entity with this name was found. This probably refers to the Russian Braindev LLC (formerly Mundfish LLC), registered in 2017. The Terms specify the Cyprus-based Slimao Limited, registered in 2018, which owns TM Mundfish and Atomic Heart registered in the United States in 2018.
According to the website, the company was founded in 2017 by 4 people who also own 63.87% of the Cyprus legal entity as of 02'2023:
- Artem Galeyev (13%);
- Robert Bagratuni (Maxim Zatsepin) (35%);
- Evgenia Sedova (15%);
- Oleg Gorodishenin (0.87%).
According to the website, the company employs 130 people from 10 countries, including Poland, Ukraine, Austria, Georgia, Israel, Armenia, the UAE, Serbia and Cyprus. The list of countries does not include Russia, although according to LinkedIn, at least 2 people working for the company are based in Moscow – Alexey Kaminskiy and Olga Sapozhnikova. However, according to the media, most of the employees are still in Moscow even after the relocation. The dev.ua portal also found two Ukrainian programmers working for Mundfish. According to LinkedIn, the company employs 84 people, and 65 former Mundfish employees are also known.
The company positions itself as an international company with offices in Cyprus, Moscow, and St. Petersburg. The office in Moscow is closed, according to Yandex map. The office in St. Petersburg has not been found, but in 2018 the company was looking for a game dev for this office. In 2019, they were looking for a technical artist with the ability to work in one of the offices – in Moscow or St. Petersburg.
Later, they relocated part of the company to Yerevan. In March 2022, they were looking for testers for the office in Yerevan. In June 2022, they were looking for an office manager for the office in Yerevan.
Among the game's publishers are Focus Entertainment (a French video game publisher) and 4Divinity, an Asian company that is part of the Asian game publishing holding GCL. In the CIS, the publisher is GRN+. The legal entity GRN+ Ltd, registered in Cyprus, was formerly known as Gem Capital Agro Limited and Gem Capital Metals And Mining Limited, and was probably part of the Gem holding company that invested in Mundfish.
Among the owners of the legal entity, Slimao Limited in Cyprus are listed:
- Gem Capital Gamedev Ltd – a legal entity of the GEM Capital investment fund, which invested in Mundfish;
- Sequoia Solutions Ltd – registered (1, 2) on Nevis;
- THL B Limited – registered (1, 2) in BVI. It is known about the investment THL;
- ValueLabs Ventures Ltd – registered in BVI. It is known about the Indian company ValueLabs.
Famous legal entities of the Atomic Heart development studio
👉 Slimao Limited – 2018, Cyprus (CY).
- Robert Bagratuni (35%, since 06’2019);
- Andrey Dyakov (0.62%, since 04’2020 (1, 2));
- Artem Galeev (13%, since 06’2019);
- Gem Capital Gamedev Ltd (25.5%, since 12’2019);
- Oleg Gorodishenin (0.87%, since 04’2020 (1, 2));
- Tatiana Korchagina (13.2%, since 06’2019);
- Nataliya Kosova (0.06%, since 04’2020 (1, 2));
- Igor Poldiaev (1.5%, since 04’2020 (1, 2));
- Evgeniya Sedova (15%, since 06’2019);
- Sequoia Solutions Ltd. (18.8%, since 12’2019);
- THL B Limited (21.1%, BVI, since 10’2020 (1, 2));
- ValueLabs Ventures Ltd (2%, BVI, since 06’2019).
Previously, they were the owners:
- Δαυιδ κωνσταντινου (2018);
- Ιρινα Φιχετ (2018 – 03’2019);
- Λιουποβ Σοκολοβα Λιμνιωτη (03’2019);
- Searchlight Enterprises Ltd (03’2019);
- Uroco Ltd (07’2019).
Comments about Slimao Limited.
- It is specified in the Terms.
- TM Mundfish and Atomic Heart were registered in the USA in 2018 at Slimao LTD. Also, 2 more ТМs are in the process of registration since 2021.
- We also know about 13 TMs related to Mundfish and Atomic Heart registered in the European Union in 2021-2022 at Slimao LTD.
- Natalya Ivanovna Kosova.
Previously, the directors were:
- Litovchenko Igor Vladimirovich (until 2021);
- Sedova Evgenia Vladimirovna (until 2019).
As of 02'23, the owner is:
- Natalya Ivanovna Kosova.
Previously, the owners were:
- Litovchenko Igor Vladimirovich (until 2021);
- Sedova Evgenia Vladimirovna (until 2019);
- Tatyana Vitalievna Korchagina (until 2019);
- Perelygina Elena Vasilyevna (until 2018).
Comments on Braindev LLC (formerly Mundfish LLC).
- According to the Yandex.ru map, the office, whose address was listed as official in Moscow, no longer works.
- The legal entity is listed on hh.ru.
Negatives related to Atomic Heart developer company
Scandals related to the release of the game and the use of the USSR and Russia symbols:
- The concept of the game is a utopia of the Soviet world, set in 1951, which, according to the media and commentators, cannot but be propaganda during the war and Russia's aggression against Ukraine. The company does not hide its adoration for the USSR, even the historical data on the website covers the history of Soviet engineering from 1938 to 1955 (1, 2, 3), and the game uses Soviet slogans, such as "Glory to Soviet Engineers." In January 2023, the company's releases showed a photo of a character named Molotov and an ax with Soviet symbols;
- Ukrainian studios Remedy and 4A Games were outraged by the game's release and called for the game and the company to be canceled. The Russian media (1, 2) presented the Ukrainian position as envy and a desire to hurt the Russians;
- The Ministry of Digital Transformation of Ukraine plans to ask Sony, Microsoft, and Valve to ban the game entirely. The reasoning behind this request is the use of Soviet symbols in the game, toxicity, potential data collection and transfer to Russian government agencies, and the potential use of money from the purchase to continue the war;
- Yegor Chekalkin posted a screenshot from the game, where a drone carries a basket of geraniums, on his Twitter account, compared to a photo of the Iranian Shahed drone with the inscription "geranium-2" and wrote a post in which the characters in the game are holding a geranium-2 with the question "Geranium?". Users responded to these tweets from the position that Geranium-2 drones have been used in Ukraine since September 2022, and the concept of the game was developed earlier
- They also used old photos of Donetsk in the game;
- The game is available in Russia on the VK Play platform;
- The game's release date of February 21, 2023, coincides with the day of Putin's message to the federal assembly, which was blamed on the company because the release date could have been shifted;
- The company explained its position on Russia's war against Ukraine in its TW: they wrote that they are for peace, and that they do not comment on two topics – politics and religion and do not support any form of discrimination.
Atomic Heart leaked data to Russian government agencies
In January 2023, the ain.capital portal published an article where, in addition to ties with the Russian Federation, it also wrote that the user agreement on the Russian version of the site contains a warning about the possible transfer of data to government agencies upon request, in particular, the article mentions the tax service and the FSS. Ain.capital provided screenshots of the relevant section of the site for confirmation.
A few days later, the Russian public site Overclockers.ru published a comment from the company about the data transfer. The company stated that this was old information, that no one transfers data, and began to make changes to this section on the website, and by the end of January 2023, the section was not available.
Feedback from former Atomic Heart employees
According to the publication, the following reviews of former employees are known:
- Lack of coordination among the management;
- Hiring non-professional candidates for TL positions;
- Requirements to use someone else's design or mechanics when developing a game;
- Interference in processes and an increase in the number of "bugs" that the team is then forced to eliminate;
- Requirements for overtime work without compensation;
- Non-payment of salary after dismissal;
- "Squeezing out" professionals who disagree with the company's policy;
- Scheduling meetings and calls for off-hours, weekends and vacations;
- Elective relocation to Cyprus – only for the "chosen ones", and forced relocation to Yerevan.
Is Atomic Heart a Russian game? Positioning Atomic Heart as a Russian development.
There were posts on Twitter (for example) that promoted the purchase of the game as the pride of a Russian game dev. Also, in publics that write about new games, the game is called Russian (1, 2, 3, 4) in advertising articles. In the media, the developers are called Russian.
Payment of taxes in the Russian Federation by the Atomic Heart developer
Ownership in Slimao Limited, an affiliate of the developer Atomic Heart
Artem Faridovich Galeev (25.02.1977, +79166974855, +74953140096, +74509843316, firstname.lastname@example.org, site, FB, Skype: artep_skype, passports: 4509843316, 4502783059, 01VIIIСБ60, 2145027830, TIN: 772641435521, SNILS: 01327298733) – Co-Founder. The main visionary artist of the company. Since 2005, he has a website where he posts his own artworks. Born in Kazan, Tatarstan, Russia. His sister is Yulia Faridovna Galeeva (17.11.1983, FB), and he also has a brother, Artur Faridovich Galeev (17.11.1983).
His LinkedIn profile indicates that from 2005 to 2011 he worked as an art director at Trehmer. In 2007, he worked as an advisor to the CEO at Infomir CJSC. Since 2012, he has been Creative Art Director at cgcompany.ru.
According to the information in the Cyprus legal entity Mundfish, he is registered at 28 Chertanovskaya Street, apartment 52 in Moscow, which is also confirmed by the insight. According to the insight, he owns a Daewoo Super Salon (#M932MO77, VIN: KLANR19W1RB624315) and also a Mini Cooper S (#H658KK177, VIN: WMWRE31020TD45845).
Bagratuni Robert Ashotovich / Maxim Zatsepin (09.05.1984, FB, FB1, Inst, VK, Passport:4500074901, 4507796173, 4500074901, SNILS:11810481121, TIN:771570060938, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, +79037266630 (active as of February 2022), +79055440433, +74992005692, driver's license: 7734 272594, Skype:live:zacepinmax, max_zacepin, Gravatar, Vivino, Pinterest, Telegram: id746281, @zacepinmax, @RB_mz) – Co-Founder, Chief Executive Officer & Game Director.
According to the information in the Cyprus legal entity Mundfish, he is registered at 3 Verzemneka Street, apartment 30 in Moscow. This is also confirmed by an insight, who says he was born in Yerevan. According to the insight, in 2003 he worked at the Russian CESSI (Institute for Comparative Social Studies).
According to his interview, he worked at Newmedia Stars as a video designer. The owner of the company is Konstantin Rykov (bio), a former United Russia deputy and one of the ideologues of Putin's presidential campaign. He also worked in the marketing department of Mail.Ru as an art director. In 2015, he launched the brokerage project Istochnik (The Source), which later completely refocused on cryptocurrencies.
In 2021, Mail.ru became part of the VK Group holding, 57% of which is consolidated by MF Technologies, which in turn is owned by state-owned companies from Russia in the following shares: 45% to Gazprom, 45% to SOGAZ, 10% to Rostec.
In 2010, he worked as an artist at Dva Kryla LLC (Two Wings LLC). Also, according to insight, in 2010 he worked as a designer at Trehmer, where Artem Galeev was the art director at the time. Before that, in 2002, he worked at TV Service, where Galeev also worked. In 2020, he was a sole proprietor. According to insight, he owned 61.25% of the legal entity Mask LLC, where another Mundfish co-owner, Yevhenia Sedova, was the CEO.
According to insight, the mother is probably Susanna Melkonovna Bagratuni (16.10.1960).
In his VK, he posted messages (1, 2) praising Putin in 2014. Interests (1, 2, 3) in TG: "@relogame_armenia Relogame Armenia", "@cyprusithr CY iT HR", "@addmeto", "@decenter – blockchain, bitcoin, investments", "", "", "@destinyplay / s-14 news – everything about destiny 2", "@ghost_in_the_text", "@narratorika", "@techsparks", "@unrealenginecis", "@wavesnews", "futures", "trading", "gamedev", "marketing", "smm", "armenia", "cyprus", "UAE", "oil products oil", "ico", "ethereum eth", "bitcoin btc", "defi", "smart contracts", "gpu graphics cards", "asic miners", "pyramid scheme", "prostitutes".
Sedova Evgeniya Vladimirovna (17.07.1985, +79035081600, TG: @jeneve, firstname.lastname@example.org, FB, Inst, VK, passport: 4508198956, TIN: 773165068345) – Co-Founder & Financial Advisor. According to the Cypriot legal entity Mundfish, it is registered at 38 Marshal Timoshenko Street, apartment 154 in Moscow, which is also confirmed by an insight.
According to her interview, she worked at Newmedia Stars, where she headed the computer graphics department. The owner of the company is Konstantin Rykov (bio), a former United Russia deputy and one of the ideologues of Putin's presidential campaign. Robert Bagratuni also worked there. According to the insight for 2021, he owns cars: Mercedes-Benz CLA-klasse and Audi A7. According to the insight, she was the CEO of the legal entity Mask LLC and was registered as an individual entrepreneur.
Gorodishenin Oleg Vladimirovich (26.04.1997, FB, Inst, VK, blog, email@example.com, +79261650876, +74957169519, +74956481000, firstname.lastname@example.org, TIN:772798730300, Passport:3915153289, skype:kingsun0426) – Co-Founder & General Producer.
According to information (1, 2), the Cyprus legal entity Mundfish is registered at Romashkovo village, Rublevsky passage 40-4-180 in the Moscow region. According to insight, he was registered in Moscow at 20 Skobelevskaya Street, apartment 183. He has a brother, Horodishenin Oleksiy Volodymyrovych (01.04.1990), and a mother, Horodishenina Olena Valeriyivna (10.01.1969). He had an individual enterprise and lived at 32-1 Nagatinska embankment, apartment 41. Until 2017, he worked for Heroes of Scene (heroesofscene.ru). According to insight, he worked at Tinkoff Bank in ~2021.
Andrey Olegovich Dyakov (25.06.1990, +79095906391, Passport: 1810473826, TIN: 344598593794) – CTO. According to the information (1, 2) in the Cyprus legal entity Mundfish, he is registered at Berezovaya Roshcha 1, apartment 26 in Vsevolodsk, Russia. Until 2018, he worked at the St. Petersburg studio of Sperasoft, according to his LinkedIn. According to insight, he has 2 cars for 2021: Renault Logan SR and Kia Sportage.
Korchagina Tatiana Vitalievna (19.11.1969, +74957777712, TIN: 772802834696, Passport: 4515422682) – according to the information in the Cyprus legal entity Mundfish, she is registered at 19 Serebryachenskaya Embankment, apartment 27 in Moscow. She was the founder and director of Mundfish LLC (renamed to Braindev LLC) in Moscow. According to insight for 2021, she owns a Lexus LX car.
Kosova Natalia Ivanovna (18.12.1975, TIN: 212701165084, passports: 4521073495, 9700131190) – according to the information (1, 2) in the Cyprus legal entity Mundfish, registered at 4-1 Dekabristov Street, apartment 86 in Moscow. Also, as of February 2023, she is a director and founder of Braindev LLC in Moscow (ex. Mundfish LLC). According to insight, she had a credit debt of ~9m rubles (~$68.5k).
Igor Borisovich Poldyaev (~30.04.1970, +79265991190) – according to information (1, 2) in the Cyprus legal entity Mundfish, he is registered at 14-16 Zamorenova Street, apartment 77 in Moscow. Probably originally from Engels, Russia.
Managers of the Atomic Heart development company
- Oleksandr Romashkov – Narrative Director, from 2016 to November 2022 was Narrative Director, Game Designer at Talerock;
- Alexandra Melnikova – Head of Legal. From 2016 to 2021 – VP Legal at the Russian ticketing service Aviasales;
- Oleksiy Kaminsky (email@example.com) – COO, according to LinkedIn – located in Moscow;
- Vigen Osipov (firstname.lastname@example.org) – Head of Finance. According to Li, he is a financial manager at Mail.ru Group.
Investing in Atomic Heart developer
- 2019, Early-Stage VC / Pre Seed – received $3m from investors Gaijin Games, GEM Capital;
- 2021, Early-Stage VC (Series B) / Series A – received $13m from investors Gaijin Games, GEM Capital, Tencent Holdings.
- Gaijin Games, Early-Stage VC, Early-Stage VC (Series B) – is a Russian studio developing computer games War Thunder and Crossout. Registered in Hungary. In 2021, accused of indirectly financing pro-Russian separatists of the so-called "LDPR"
- GEM Capital, Early-Stage VC, Early-Stage VC (Series B) – is an investment company registered in Cyprus. The head is Anatoly Paliy, a former Gazprom manager with close ties to Oleg Deripaska, ain.capital noted, citing a Twitter thread that scanned Paliy's biography. The legal entity GRN+ Ltd acts as the publisher of GRN+ in the CIS. The director of GRN+ Ltd is Diana Poksane (ΝΤΙΑΝΑ ΠΟΚΣΑΝΕ), who is also the director of 1Oil Holdings Limited and Ripiano Holdings Limited. In the past, the legal entity GRN+ Ltd had the names Gem Capital Agro Limited and Gem Capital Metals And Mining Limited. Also, the legal entity 1Oil Holdings Limited is the owner of the legal entity 1Oil Management LLC (ООО “1ойл менеджмент”) – the company 1Oil (under the brand First Oil), with which Paliy is also associated;
- Tencent Holdings, Early-Stage VC (Series B) – a Chinese investment holding company that invests in gaming companies.
- According to the aggregator, total lifetime revenue for the period from 2018 to 2023 is $8.2m, with two games released – Atomic Heart and Soviet Lunapark VR. Soviet Lunapark VR is a free-to-play game with a 52.4% rating. Atomic Heart brought all the revenue;
- Braindev LLC (formerly Mundfish LLC), a legal entity in Russia, paid $34.8k (2.62m rubles) to the Russian budget in 2021. The company's profit for 2021 amounted to $66k (4.99m rubles).
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