We got the weirdest mail today....
We have inadvertently become a part of an ongoing information war between Russians and Ukrainians. Nowhere is that more evident then in our comments section, which is full of people either attacking Areal or defending Areal. But that's not actually what this update is about, because this update is actually a lot weirder... Out of nowhere yesterday, we got an email claiming to be from Vladimir Putin. We thought at first that there's no way that this is legit, because we are a Ukrainian studio for the most part, and it's probably the usual trolls trying to deceive us, but then when we looked at it closely, we started thinking that it might be real. We don't really know to be honest, but we're showing you the original signed letter in Russian as well as a translated English version anyway, for you to judge for yourselves. Either way, it's pretty amusing!
President of the Russian Federation
To Eugene Kim
President of the West Games Company
My daughter told me about your game called Areal, which is the spiritual successor to STALKER, and told me that she payed money to support your project on Kickstarter. I also love video games as well as shooters, and I like this idea. It's important that our people do not shoot at each other, but instead, play games like this.
The first part of STALKER took place in Ukraine, and in the second game Areal, you put all events in the center of Russia – and if this is a war with mutants in a video game, then that is very interesting. I attentively familiarized myself with your idea and I really like it.
If you give me the chance to play the alpha version of the game, when it is ready, then I invite you in advance to the Kremlin, to meet personally, be ready to play a little bit and talk about the interests of young people, the gamers of our country.
So that's really something... We do have a personal question in case this is real to Putin, but we have no idea on how to contact him. Could he give the name of his daughter (she probably took her husband's last name), so that we can check if she actually backed our project? And how can we contact him so that we can play the game together? Because we too feel that it's way better to shoot each other in a game, then in real life, which is what's happening right now. It's better to play video games in the Kremlin, then for them to shoot at actual people in our Ukraine. This is definitely the most out there thing that we have gotten in our whole careers as video game developers, and we thought it was worth sharing.