Is War Thunder a national security risk?

By Melany Moncada

|

Feb 6, 2023

Reading time: 2 min

Is War Thunder a national security risk? A Redditor convinced the entire player base and multiple news media outlets about it.

War Thunder is a vehicular combat multiplayer developed by Gaijin Entertainment. An open beta for the game was released in 2012. The official release came four years later, in 2016.

In the game, players get to pick a nation to represent as they go into battle. The game has tanks, planes, and vessels for players to choose from, making it the only game that has all three options available. Players earn research points that can be used to improve their vehicles. There are three modes, arcade, realistic, and simulator.

Out of the three modes, the simulator is the closest to realistic battles and might be the reason why people believed the rumor that started on Reddit.

Is War Thunder a national security risk?

The Redditor started by explaining that one of his friends got a job at Raytheon Technologies. Raytheon is an American multinational aerospace and defense conglomerate specializing in aircraft engines, aerostructures, cybersecurity, and more.

According to the Redditor, a Private Investigator reached out and asked questions like “Would he overthrow the government?” and finally, “Does he play War Thunder?” Other users on the War Thunder subreddit started commenting on the post, speculating why a P. I would ask about the game in specific.

Media outlets picked up the story, claiming that it made sense “after you realize how much-classified information has leaked via the game over the past few years”.

The leaked information in question is at least six separate incidents where classified documents were leaked by the community. The purpose of the leaks was to compare the vehicles in the game with their real-life counterparts. The list of leaked documents included flight manuals and armor layouts.

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Raytheon Technologies released a statement explaining that the company doesn’t factor in video game preferences during the hiring process.

“Yes, the story was made up, I lied on the internet as everyone else does. People ask if I should be banned, so be it lol,” the Redditor known as Add Fiat 6616 Pls confirm at a later date.

While War Thunder is not a national security threat, it is not crazy to think that the government might be keeping an eye on the game. The game prides itself on having realistic vehicles and battles, which begs the question, how did a game developer access this information?

Is War Thunder Russian owned?

Gaijin Entertainment was founded in Russia by Anton and Kirill Yudintsev. After the success of War Thunder, the company moved its operations to Budapest, Hungary. By 2020, the company generated more than 10% of all IT industry profit in Hungary and is the largest IT taxpayer.

Despite moving the company to a different country, Gaijin Entertainment was accused in 2021 of financing pro-Russian separatists.

“We do not provide political support to anyone anywhere. We know nothing about politics and prefer to stay out of it. Our agency that ordered an ad in the video in question took it down when they realized they might drag us into a political discussion,” Gaijin stated.

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