Ukraine's Push for More Ukrainian-Language Video Games: A Global Call to Action

The Ministry of Culture and Information Policy plans to engage with leading global video game developers to advocate for an increase in Ukrainian language options in games. This initiative was announced by Rostyslav Karandeyev, the acting Minister of Culture and Information Policy, during a broadcast on March 22.

In the context of discussing strategies for promoting the Ukrainian language by 2030, Karandeyev underscored the importance of having access to media products in Ukrainian.

"When families watch Ukrainian films, it naturally encourages discussions in Ukrainian, which is why there's a concerted effort to enrich the national media landscape with Ukrainian-language content," he stated.

The move comes in response to concerns highlighted by First Lady Olena Zelenska regarding the scarcity of video games available in Ukrainian, spotlighting the need for greater linguistic inclusivity in the gaming sector.

"Following a meeting that included First Lady Olena Zelenska about a month ago, we identified the provision of legal computer games in Ukrainian as a key ministry priority. The absence of Ukrainian language options has been a significant oversight," Karandeyev shared.

Ukraine's Push for More Ukrainian-Language Video Games: A Global Call to Action 1

He also touched on the need for "personal communication" or what he described as "IT diplomacy" to effectively address this issue within the global gaming industry.

"We're preparing to propose a global initiative to computer game producers worldwide to ensure the availability of Ukrainian language versions," Karandeyev added, highlighting the ministry's proactive stance on cultural and linguistic representation.

A Steam platform survey from February showed Ukrainian ranking 14th in popularity among its users, surpassing languages such as Italian, Czech, and Hungarian, with Chinese, English, russian, and Spanish leading the list. It's noteworthy that the survey's voluntary nature means some Ukrainian-speaking gamers may not be reflected in these results.

Steam currently hosts approximately 270 video games featuring Ukrainian localization, including both text translations and full voiceovers. Additionally, the platform has curated a list of the top 25 video games available in Ukrainian, featuring titles like Dota 2, Metro, S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl, and Forgotton Anne, among others.