22:28 GMT26 January 2020
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    Russian gamers and social media users have voiced their indignation over the appearance of a teaser trailer for a Polish-made videogame about the Kursk submarine disaster of 2000.

    Last week, Polish game studio Jujubee published a teaser trailer for the game, simply called KURSK, a press release by the company saying it would be a "first-person adventure and survival game" based on the Kursk tragedy.

    The teaser trailer features a video focusing on the exact moment when an explosion in the torpedo room sealed the vessel's fate.

    Although the company press release does not appear to make light of the disaster, saying only that "the game will look at the tragedy…from a new angle" and provide "mature audiences [with] a unique and cinematic experience," some Russian gamers felt incensed by the trailer and the game concept itself.

    Monument to submarine sailors who died in peacetime
    © RIA Novosti . Alexey Kudenko
    The Kursk, which sunk with all 118 sailors on board in the Barents Sea on August 12, 2000, became a national tragedy after several attempts to rescue sailors trapped at the bottom of the sea floor proved unsuccessful. Over the course of four days, the Russian navy made repeated attempts to attach diving bells and submersibles to the sub's escape hatch, without success. In the aftermath of the disaster, investigators found a letter in the pocket of a dying officer noting that at least 23 of the sailors had survived the initial explosion which crippled the vessel and sent it to the bottom of the sea.

    Russian YouTube users commenting on the trailer noted that given the specifics of the Kursk disaster, it is inappropriate to make a game about it. Users said that the concept for the game was akin to making a game about the 9/11 terror attacks, or a flight simulator featuring the doomed plane of Polish President Lech Kaczynski, whose planed crashed in Smolensk, Russia in 2010.

    Social media commentary was soon joined by Russian media as well, with Komsomolskaya Pravda possibly putting it best, noting that while games on tragedies are common, the Kursk tragedy affected not millions, but several hundred people, when counting families.

    "One cannot remain indifferent toward the teaser: Who can endure the scene where the sailors' heads are being torn apart by the blast, their faces featuring expressions of fear and pain? The designers drew them, but seeing such a thing can send the relatives of those who died [in the disaster] to the hospital," Komosomolskaya Pravda noted.

    Jujubee, a game company known mostly for its mobile games, has not yet announced a release date for the game, but noted that the game would come out on all major platforms, and that this was the biggest project ever undertaken by the company.


    Kursk Submarine Disaster
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    video games, submarine disaster, submarine, Kursk, Russia, Poland
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