Hypocrisy row at Games Workshop over Russia ties

Fantasy wargame: Warhammer

Fantasy wargame: Warhammer

Warhammer proprietor Games Workshop has come below fireplace after teaming up with a online game firm with ties to Russia.

The firm stopped promoting its fantasy collectible figurines in Russia quickly after Vladimir Putin launched his invasion of Ukraine in 2022.

But it seems that Games Workshop has been licensing its mental property to Cyprus-based studio Owlcat Games, which has Russian traders.

In December, Owlcat launched a recreation known as Rogue Trader on platforms together with Sony’s PlayStation and Microsoft’s Xbox.

The recreation’s branding options the Warhammer emblem prominently and is designated as an ‘official licensed product’, indicating it has Games Workshop’s stamp of approval.

An announcement from the Moral Rating Agency, an organisation that collects knowledge on corporations doing enterprise in Russia, mentioned: ‘People who play Warhammer or different Owlcat video games are not directly supporting Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Games Workshop might have chosen to license to a associate with out Russian hyperlinks.’

A spokesman for B4Ukraine – a gaggle aiming to cease world companies coping with Russia – added: ‘This is shameful company behaviour.’

When contacted by The Mail on Sunday, Owlcat mentioned it beforehand had a improvement home in Russia, however its groups left the nation in 2022 and it not operates there.

One of Owlcat’s backers was GEM Capital, a Russian funding home based in 2017 by Anatoly Paliy, a former govt at Russian state-backed oil and gasoline big Gazprom. Owlcat was mentioned to have acquired no less than $1 million (£790,000) in funding from GEM.

Paliy began vitality agency First Oil in 2013. One of his companions was Mark Garber, who was on the board of a Russian agency based by sanctioned oligarch Oleg Deripaska.

GEM’s present portfolio contains an funding in Cyprus-based online game studio Mundfish, which Ukraine accuses of spreading pro-Russian propaganda.

Games Workshop didn’t reply to requests for remark.