Wow, talk about a sense of style! Artistic indie INDIKA is unlike anything we’ve seen on PS5 before: a third-person action adventure set in 19th-century Russia, where you’ll assume the role of a nun exploring the duality of good and evil. The debut trailer, prefaced by a message from game director Dmitry Svetlow, is pretty intense.
The project, created by Odd Meter and due out next year, has presented some real-life moral problems for the developer and publisher 11-Bit Studios.
Svetlow explained in a press release: “Even before our country started the war, we walked a fine line working with topics that can get someone criminal prosecution in Russia. After 24th February, things were complicated even further as staying in Russia became both physically scary and, more importantly, morally difficult, so we decided to leave for another country. Nowadays, it has become especially obvious how relevant the topics raised in our game are.
“Many problems of today’s Russia lie in the socio-political infantilism that has been hammered into its citizens over the centuries: humility, obedience, and patience are the main virtues imposed by our orthodox culture. So, it’s not surprising that institutions such as the Russian Orthodox Church have recently become one of the primary weapons of propaganda, calling on parishioners to die for their homeland, and preaching a monstrous indifference to one’s own and other people’s lives.”
While the game was in development prior to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, 11-Bit Studios has since assisted Odd Meter in its relocation to Kazakhstan. A proportion of INDIKA’s revenue will subsequently be donated to help children affected by the war in Ukraine.
“Such a dehumanising war shows that our desire to see the world as a free, civilized place is still brittle, and sadly, many people’s lives still precariously balance on military whims,” product management lead Rufus Kubica explained. “We at 11-Bit knew we couldn’t measure our ongoing cooperation with Odd Meter merely due to the studio’s origins.
He continued: “As the team decided to leave Russia and move to Kazakhstan, we gave them all the time they needed to put their private and professional lives back on track. Development deadlines could be postponed, and we needed to put a ton of new effort into paperwork. But most importantly, we didn’t interfere with the game content, its theme, or the story that bravely touches on topics that are almost entirely absent from games up to now. With its artistic value at stake, any sort of censorship would imply our lack of confidence – and we wholeheartedly believe in Odd Meter’s efforts to craft a mind-boggling, one-of-a-kind, meaningful experience. We can’t wait for our community to play INDIKA and be mind-blown with us.”