Epic Games & Activision Blizzard suspend new game sales in Russia

Epic Games & Activision Blizzard suspend new game sales in Russia
Gaming giants Activision Blizzard and Epic Games have reportedly announced halting game sales in Russia as a response to the country’s ongoing activities in Ukraine.

In a letter to its employees, the President and CEO of Activision Blizzard, Daniel Alegre, announced that the company will suspend sales of new games and in-game purchases in Russia till the war activities continue.

He also stated that the organization is looking for ways to provide support to the people in Ukraine. The company is matching the employee donations two-to-one towards organizations offering relief with the company matching the donation limit of USD 1,000 to USD 10,000. So far, Activision and its employees have raised close to USD 300,000 and the company will include more charity options for employees.

Alegre also praised the massive contributions from the company’s Poland employees where people are volunteering to aid refugees from Ukraine.

Shortly after Activision’s announcement, Epic Games asserted that it would cease commerce with the oil-rich country in its games in response to the ongoing conflict. Epic also stated that it will cease access to games for Russians, comparing it to communication tools. However, the developer has not cleared whether the commercial ban applies to games, microtransactions, or both.

With this announcement, Epic Games and Activision Blizzard join a host of gaming firms that have acted against Russia. Some other companies include CD Projekt Red, Cyberpunk 2077 and Witcher developers, and Microsoft.

Recently, EA Games removed Russian teams from its NBA and FIFA games whereas CD Projekt Red has banned the sale of physical as well as digital copies of its games. Microsoft ceased sales of new products and services in the country including Minecraft which was taken down from the App Store and Google Play in Russia. Interestingly, Activision Blizzard has not halted sales to Belarus, the economic partner of Russia.

All these activities were triggered after the Ukrainian Vice Prime Minister Mykhailo Federov requested PlayStation and Xbox to temporarily block Belorussian and Russian accounts and stop them from participating in esports events.

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