Battle for Donetsk is a war game with an anti-war message. It’s a confronting “topical game”, developed by the independent game studio LuGus Studios. With this game LuGus Studios does not wish to take a political stance and does not condone violence and conflict. On the contrary, our aim is to raise awareness of the conflict in Ukraine. Its sobering character should provide some food for thought.
At the beginning of the game, the player chooses either the Donetsk People’s Republic, a separatist group in eastern Ukraine, or the Ukrainian government forces to fight a battle against the other party. However, the game cannot be won in a traditional way. It’s possible to win, but that’s for the players to find out.
While the game was made in only 3 weeks time, it managed to receive more than 100.000 unique downloads in the first month. The game has been widely noticed by the press, chiefly in the Ukrainian and Russian media.
The game is available on Google Play Store for Android and as a web version. It’s completely free: no cost, no micro transactions, no advertisements.
Music artists sing meaningful songs, painters create expressive images, and novelists write moving stories. Surely, games can be about something too? With this game, LuGus Studios not only tries to get people think about the conflict in Ukraine it also questions the definition and the rules of "game". The only way to win this game is by not playing at all!
Motivatie 2e categorie
Best Serious Game
As game developers in a peaceful western European country, the war in Ukraine mostly reaches us in the form of higher gas prices and fruit that have lost their main export market. Maybe, for a change, we could look at things from a slightly broader perspective. Participating in the Dutch Game Awards can help us to share the story of the Battle for Donetsk.
Motivatie 3e categorie
Best Economic Achievement
Though the game only took some three weeks to develop, it had already been downloaded 50.000 times on the Google Play Store two weeks after release. Two and half months later, that number has already risen to 200.000. Given its short development time, Battle For Donetsk can be considered a great success. It is a non-commercial game, but has nonetheless given LuGus Studios a great deal of exposure. The huge player base is a wonderful result we never dared to hope for.