Crisis in Ukraine Meant Metro Dev Had to Smuggle Xbox Ones and PS4s Into Country

Political upheaval in the country made Metro Redux development difficult for 4A Games.

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Due to the recent political upheaval in Ukraine, Metro developer 4A Games--based in Kiev--had to smuggle Xbox One and PlayStation 4 development kits into the country to work on Metro Redux. 4A Games brand manager Huw Beynon told The Escapist that development kits had to be secretly brought into the country because if customs agents found them, they might not let them through without paying an exorbitant fee.

"Just to give an idea of how they are working, we had to smuggle dev kits out to them in hand baggage," Beynon said. "You can't send anything by courier into Ukraine because you get stopped by customs and then they'll charge you any figure they like."

Beynon went on to say that it was especially difficult to get Xbox One development kits to 4A Games in Kiev, so much so that they were only able to do so about five months ago.

"They've been building the PS4 version on two devkits, one of them I personally took in myself. We were trying to get the Xbox One kits out to them and we couldn't because this all of this kicked off in November-December so they didn't get their actual Xbox One kits until January this year when things had calmed down a little bit," he said. "It gives you an idea of the challenges that they faced."

Some of the 4A Games developers themselves were involved in protests, but according to Beynon, none were injured.

"It's frightening times for the guys there. They were very involved in the protest. I told them to keep their heads down once the bullets started flying around and thankfully they did," Beynon said. "They really wanted to be part of this progressive movement and change. It's still quite frightening times in Kiev and there are headlines coming out of Ukraine every day; we don't know what is going to happen. It is an extraordinary set of circumstances they work under anyway without all of this stuff going on."

Earlier this month, 4A Games announced plans to open a new studio in Malta, a Mediterranean island nation. This new office space will become the studio's headquarters, though the company will retain its Ukrainian office.

Metro Redux, a compilation pack that includes remastered versions of Metro: 2033 and Metro: Last Light, launches this summer for Xbox One, PS4, and PC. The games will also be available individually for $25 across consoles and PC through digital channels. Metro Redux will be published by Deep Silver, which purchased the Metro franchise for $5.8 million during the THQ bankruptcy auction last year.

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