Major US defence corp says no, playing War Thunder doesn't make you a threat to national security

Official War Thunder artwork showing a tank, battleship, and fighter jet.
(Image credit: Gaijin Entertainment)

The War Thunder forums have developed a booming trade in sensitive military information over the last few years, with multiple users reprimanded for posting restricted materials about jets, tanks, and materials from the British, French, US, and Chinese armed forces. Your videogame forum can only leak so much military intel before it starts to catch people's attention, so it wasn't long before stories popped up on Reddit that defence contractors like Raytheon had begun asking new hires and their referrers if they played War Thunder. After all, those guys clearly can't be trusted to keep stuff under their hat.

Those stories spread like wildfire, but it looks like they weren't true, no matter how funny it would be. When PCGamesN reached out to Raytheon to ask if War Thunder players really were considered a risk to national security, the company was quick to deny it. "Though it's a great story, it's not true," the spokesperson said, noting that they couldn't "imagine a case in which we'd have a concern with any game". 

Clearly, they haven't delved into some of Steam's more esoteric user-tags, but the point remains that playing War Thunder does not, in reality, render you a threat to national security in the eyes of major US defence contractors. Or at least not Raytheon, anyway.

The author of the original story has returned to Reddit to confess that they made the whole thing up, admitting that they "lied on the internet as everyone else does," but apologising to anyone who worried their War Thunder hobby had gotten them put on a watchlist. 

The community seems to have mostly taken the saga in good humour, appreciating the bizarre attention it brought them and making fun of the furore it generated. Still, I imagine it's only a matter of time before someone else posts something intensely classified on the game's forum to win an argument. At that point, perhaps Raytheon will reconsider its stance?

Joshua Wolens
News Writer

One of Josh's first memories is of playing Quake 2 on the family computer when he was much too young to be doing that, and he's been irreparably game-brained ever since. His writing has been featured in Vice, Fanbyte, and the Financial Times. He'll play pretty much anything, and has written far too much on everything from visual novels to Assassin's Creed. His most profound loves are for CRPGs, immersive sims, and any game whose ambition outstrips its budget. He thinks you're all far too mean about Deus Ex: Invisible War.