Colleagues pay tribute to Metro Exodus animator who died fighting for Ukraine

Andrii Korzinkin
(Image credit: Andrii Korzinkin)

Andrii Korzinkin, an animator who worked on Metro Exodus at Ukrainian studio 4A Games, was reportedly killed during a "combat mission" against Russian forces invading the country. News of Korzinkin's death was shared on Twitter by Remedy gameplay designer Leonid Stepanov, who previously worked with Korzinkin at 4A Games.

"Andrii 'Nizrok' Korzinkin (@korzinkin_3d) died while performing a combat mission in the struggle for independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine," Stepanov tweeted. "A talented animator, incredible person and real hero. Rest in peace, friend. We all miss you."

Stepanov told PC Gamer that he befriended Korzinkin after joining 4A Games, where Korzinkin "was responsible for a lot of the animation of various characters and cutscenes."

"We got to know each other better while working on common tasks," Stepanov said. "I was immediately struck by his kind nature and desire to always help. This trait of his was noticed by many other colleagues too. And of course his technical skills were stunning."

Korzinkin was passionate about both developing and playing games, Stepanov said, and was inspired by the work of God of War creative director Cory Barlog. "[Barlog] was an animator at the beginning of his professional journey too," Stepanov said. "That's why Andrii was studying other components of development in order to be able to do as much as possible on the way to his own project."

Stepanov said he first became aware of Korzinkin's death through a LinkedIin post made by a mutual friend. Later, another friend of Korzinkin also tweeted about attending the funeral.

"My first reaction was denial. That this is impossible, that this could not happen to Andrii," he said. "And even later, when I was doing reposts of this terrible news myself, I hoped that it would all turn out to be a mistake. But then information about this was confirmed from other people. It was very painful. Now it remains only to keep wonderful memories of Andrii, pass them to other people and do everything so that his death is not in vain."

Other current and former developers at 4A Games also paid tribute to Korzinkin on social media.

"My friend, talented animator and great and humble person korzinkin_3d performing combat mission heroically died defending Ukraine," tweeted animator Serhii Krystiev, who worked with Korzinkin on Metro Exodus. "I don't have any words to describe this loss. He was a person who I always wanted to be alike as a professional. Rest in peace my friend."

"Good person, good artist, good coworker," former 4A employee Denys Mischchenko said. "So many good moments in memory from Metro Exodus production. So sad, no words. Rest in peace, bro."

"Andrii was an awesome human being, very responsive and supportive, always ready to help, incredibly responsible and dedicated person," Metro Exodus lead technical designer Vitalii Keda wrote in a LinkedIn post. "I've known him since our work together at 4A Games on Metro Exodus and he always stood out with his dry humor and strive for excellence. His positive attitude has always got me fueled up to keep going and instilled not to hesitate to face difficulties both professionally and personally. You will be missed, dear friend. Rest in peace."

Andrii Krasavin, a senior game designer on Metro Exodus, said he knew Korzinkin more professionally than personally, but described him as "ready to stand on duty" in the face of the Russian invasion. "He's from Mariupol and this terror touched his family a lot," Krasavin told PC Gamer via DM.

4A Games, which relocated its headquarters to Malta in 2014 following the first Russian invasion of Ukraine (it maintains a studio in Kyiv), has been outspoken about the fight for Ukrainian independence since the start of the Russian invasion in February. It joined other studios in decrying the second Russian invasion and calling for support for the Armed Forces of Ukraine earlier this year, and on Ukraine's Independence Day on August 24, it called on Ukranians to "stand strong and courageous" in the "fight for independence." 

A few days after Stepanov tweeted about Korzinkin's death, the studio confirmed it with photos and a statement shared on Twitter. 

"Today we mourn 4A Games' animator Andrii 'Nizrok' Korzinkin, who was killed in action on the 24th of September while defending his country near Mykolaiv city," 4A said. "Andrii was born in Mariupol on April 7, 1989. He was buried with honor, in a military cemetery as one of Ukraine's many heroes.

"Andrii joined the Armed Forces of Ukraine after the war with Russia began. In the early days of the war, he managed to help his parents escape from the city of Mariupol to Kyiv. We remember him as a talented animator who delighted in Metro Exodus' mutants and creatures; and as a friend who was always positive and calm, who loved board games, and time at the gym. Our thoughts are with his family, and all defenders of Ukraine."

Korzinkin isn't the only 4A Games employee to join the Armed Forces of Ukraine following the Russian invasion. Stepanov said he knew "eight people for sure" from the studio who are now serving in the military, a number Krasavin confirmed.

"We have some more guys on the frontline from the first days [of the invasion]," Krasavin said. "First, some of them joined territorial defense, and after some time they got transferred to the battlefield. The rest were training and studying the military before the start to be prepared, because in the last peaceful months we all already knew that it’s gonna happen."

Andrii Korzinkin

(Image credit: Serhii Krystiev (Twitter))
Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.