The Atomic Heart Case: How Brand Reputation Impacts Business Growth

The Atomic Heart Case: How Brand Reputation Impacts Business Growth

With the rise of social media and online review sites, customers now have more power than ever to share their experiences and opinions about a brand. As a result, maintaining a positive brand reputation has become essential for any business. In this article, we will explore the importance of brand reputation and why businesses should prioritize building and protecting it based on the recently released game – Atomic Heart.

The Atomic Heart case

Atomic Hearth is an FPS adventure game with role-playing elements inviting players to visit an alternative version of the USSR that achieved a major technological breakthrough in the 50s. The Mundfish studio released the first trailer for this AAA project in 2017, and gamers were excited to see the Soviet version of the Bioshock setting. But a lot of time has passed since then, and the world has witnessed many geopolitical changes.

Of course, one such change refers to the Russian full-scale invasion of Ukraine that took place on February 24, 2022. In light of such aggressive actions, Russia has become an outcast in the global political arena and the civilized world in general. Given this, it was not surprising that Mundfish, which is a Russian development studio, decided to disguise itself as a Cypriot company right after the invasion began. It also made a statement regarding the military intervention but did not criticize the actions of the Russian authorities.

Considering this approach, most Western investors and companies refused to cooperate with Mundfish. However, the game received investments from the Gazprom corporation – the Russian gas production monopoly – and the world community probably didn’t appreciate this move. As a result, the development studio’s reputation began to decline rapidly, as did the chance of the game being financially successful.

Damage control practices

Mundfish understood that they could lose millions of dollars in sales if players associated its game with Russian aggression. That is why they have chosen to rely on effective marketing techniques to engage a global gaming audience. Since the studio was aware that many players are curious about the weird Soviet aesthetic, it capitalized on this in its trailers and other promotional materials.

One of the trailer videos featured robotic faceless ballerinas who participated in a strange dance scene. In addition, the studio released a promotional video for the game featuring popular actor Jensen Ackles which was well-received by the gaming community. And it is fair to assume that Mundfish chose this TV star for a reason. The thing is that Jensen played one of the main roles in the third season of the most popular series of recent years – The Boys. In this show, he played Soldier Boy, an incredibly powerful superhero whose main power was a massive atomic blast. Therefore, when players saw Ackles in the video called Atomic Way, they probably wanted gamers to see the reference to Soldier Boy in it.

The Atomic Heart Case: How Brand Reputation Impacts Business Growth

Another effective marketing trick was the hiring of Mick Gordon as the main soundtrack composer for the game. This talented musician is considered a real genius in the gaming world. So, many players were willing to try Atomic Hearth simply because Mick wrote the music for the project.

Why brand reputation matters

Brand reputation refers to the collective perceptions and attitudes that people hold about a particular company or organization. This aspect matters in every industry because it directly impacts the success and sustainability of a business. Here are some reasons why brand reputation is crucial:

  • Trust and credibility. Consumers and stakeholders are more likely to trust and do business with companies that have a positive reputation. A strong reputation can help build credibility and establish trust, which is essential for long-term success.
  • Customer loyalty. A good reputation can foster customer loyalty and lead to repeat business. Satisfied customers are more likely to recommend a company to others, which can lead to new business opportunities and growth.
  • Employee recruitment and retention. A positive reputation can attract top talent and help retain employees. They are more likely to be proud of working for a company with a good reputation, which can increase job satisfaction and engagement.
  • Financial performance. A strong brand reputation can contribute to a company’s financial performance by increasing market share, revenue, and profits. Investors and shareholders may also view a company with a positive reputation as a more attractive investment opportunity.
  • Crisis management. Companies with a strong reputation are better equipped to weather crises and negative publicity. A good reputation can help mitigate the impact of negative events and protect a company’s image and bottom line.

What factors affect the formation of a reputation?

When it comes to building a reputation, companies need to consider several key factors.

Quality of products or servicesThe quality of a company’s products or services is a critical factor in shaping its reputation. Companies that consistently deliver high-quality offerings are more likely to build a positive reputation among customers and stakeholders.
Customer experienceIt plays a crucial role in shaping a company’s reputation. Companies that prioritize customer satisfaction and provide excellent customer service are more likely to build a positive reputation.
Corporate social responsibilityCompanies that demonstrate a commitment to social responsibility, sustainability, and ethical business practices are more likely to build a positive reputation among stakeholders.
Brand image and identityThe way a company presents itself through its branding and messaging can impact its reputation. Companies with strong, recognizable brands and messaging that resonates with customers and stakeholders are more likely to build a positive reputation.
Industry leadershipCompanies that are recognized as leaders in their industry or that innovate and set new standards are more likely to build a positive reputation.
Public relations and media coverageA company’s reputation can be influenced by media coverage and public relations efforts, including positive and negative news stories, reviews, and other forms of publicity.

Overall, companies build a reputation based on a range of aspects that impact how it is perceived by customers, employees, investors, and other stakeholders.

What role do investors play in shaping a brand’s reputation?

Investors can play a significant role in shaping a brand’s reputation. They are critical stakeholders who are often interested in the financial performance of a company, as well as its long-term growth potential. Here are some ways that investors can influence a brand’s reputation:

Investment decisions

Investors can affect a brand’s reputation by deciding whether to invest in a company or not. They may consider a company’s reputation when making investment decisions since a positive reputation can indicate that a company is well-managed and has strong growth potential.

Media coverage

Investors can influence a brand’s reputation by providing commentary and analysis in media coverage. Those with a positive view of a company can help shape public perception of that company through their comments and analysis.

Shareholder activism

Some investors may use their shares to advocate for changes in a company’s practices, such as environmental sustainability or social responsibility. Shareholder activism can help improve a company’s reputation by promoting positive change.

Proxy voting

Investors who hold shares in a company can also impact its reputation by voting on corporate governance issues and executive compensation. And those who invest and believe that a company’s leadership or practices are unethical or irresponsible may vote against management or propose changes to the board of directors.

Most companies can attract positive attention from investors and build a strong reputation that contributes to long-term success by prioritizing ethical practices, social responsibility, and long-term growth.

Does a public backlash affect product sales?

A public backlash over a social or political controversy can impact product sales. Today’s consumers are increasingly conscious of social and political issues, and many choose to support brands that align with their values. If a company is involved in a controversial issue that conflicts with the values of its customers or stakeholders, it may face negative consequences.

For example, if a company is found to engage in unethical or discriminatory practices, it may face a public backlash. It can lead to reduced sales, negative publicity, and long-term damage to the company’s reputation. Some consumers may choose to boycott the company’s products or services, and others may express their disapproval through social media or other channels.

On the other hand, companies that take a strong stand on social or political issues that align with their customers’ values may see a positive impact on sales. In recent years, many companies have taken stands on issues such as climate change, gender equality, and racial justice, and have seen increased support from customers who share those values.

How important is brand reputation in today’s gambling industry?

The gambling business faces serious challenges regarding reputation building as many people already perceive this industry as harmful and potentially dangerous. Given this, brand reputation is essential in the gambling market, perhaps more so than in many other industries.

To influence public opinion and attract players, gambling operators must follow the Atomic Hearth example and compensate for the bad press with creative marketing. We see that most of the top-tier iGaming companies that operate in the European and American markets improve their reputation by collaborating with famous athletes, actors, and social media celebrities.

On top of that, reputable brands always focus on the responsible gambling aspect. And that’s why potential players understand that they can try money wagering in a secure web environment.


Brand reputation is a critical aspect of any business, regardless of its size or industry. Building and maintaining a positive reputation requires a significant investment of time, effort, and resources, but the benefits it provides are well worth it. A strong reputation can help businesses attract new customers, retain existing ones, differentiate themselves from the competition, and ultimately, drive long-term growth and success. By prioritizing this element and taking proactive steps to build and protect it, businesses can ensure that they are well-positioned to succeed both now and in the future.

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