Attentat 1942, a historically accurate video game about the assassination of Reinhard Heydrich, ruler of the Nazi-occupied Czech Lands, has been greenlit on the Steam market. Developed by Charles University and the Czech Academy of Sciences, the game includes interactive comics, rare digitized film footage and cinematic-style interviews providing players with a civilian perspective of World War II. The game, based on historical research and real testimonies, is to be released with English, German and Russian versions for PC and Mac in September 2017.

‘We believe in video games,’ says Vít Šisler, lead designer of the game. ‘They are a great medium for telling serious stories.’ In Attentat 1942, players take on a role of a grandson or granddaughter of a Czech postal clerk, who was arrested by the Gestapo shortly after the assassination of Reinhard Heydrich. The assassination triggered a wave of brutal retributions by the German occupying forces and created an atmosphere of terror and fear. Through interviews with different characters modeled after World War II survivors, players try to discover why their grandfather was arrested after the attack, what role he played in it and why he didn’t tell his family. ‘We wanted to give players the possibility to live through different stories of ordinary people,’ says Marie Černá, a member of the game’s team of historians. ‘We strove for a realistic depiction of daily live under the Nazi occupation.’

Steam is a leading platform for digital distribution of video games worldwide. ‘We are excited that Attentat 1942 was in 4th place on Steam Greenlight,’ says Jakub Gemrot, lead programmer of the game. ‘That indicates that players do have an interest in serious video games with sincere content.’ Attentat 1942 is a significantly enhanced version of the game Československo 38-89: Atentát that was released in Czech Republic in 2015 and won the Czech Game of the Year 2015 Award in the category Best Debut. The game’s development was supported by the Czech Ministry of Culture and the Technology Agency of the Czech Republic. Revenues from the game are invested to continue research and science into the field.