Last week, the Ukrainian government public call mode To ‘All Game Development Companies’ for ‘Temporarily Ban All Russian and Belarusian Accounts’ in Response to Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine. Now, after a slow start, several major players in the gaming industry are heeding the call and are cutting new sales in the country.
Massive French publisher Ubisoft became the latest gaming company to take action against Russian customers Monday morning, to say Bloomberg It “suspends its physical and digital sales” in the Russian market. Take-Two announced a similar move earlier in the morning, says Mashable It will stop “new sales, formulations, and marketing support” in Russia and Belarus, including purchases made through Rockstar Launcher.
The new announcements follow a series of similar actions taken by major game publishers over the weekend. Activision Blizzard Announced late on Friday They will cut sales of games and offer a two-way match on employee contributions to relief organizations operating in Ukraine.
electronic arts As announced Friday It halted sales of Russian games, including the sale of virtual currency bundles in its popular games, “as this struggle continues”. This action comes after EA Sports earlier removed all Russian teams From FIFA 22 And the NHL 22reflects similar movements of international organizations manage those sports.
Mixed responses from platform owners
On a platform level, Polish company CD Projekt Red was among the first major game companies to block the Russian market, cutting it off from online store GOG purchases last week. “We know that players in Russia and Belarus, individuals who have nothing to do with the invasion of Ukraine, will be affected by this decision, but with this action we want to motivate the global community to talk about what is going on in the heart of Europe.” Wrote.Ads
by Friday morning, Microsoft joined in By banning Russian sales of all products, including Xbox hardware, software, and Game Pass subscriptions.
On Saturday, Epic joined the chorus say It was “Stop trade with Russia in our games.” It’s unclear if this ban extends to the Epic Games Store or development clearinghouses such as the Unreal Marketplace. Regardless, Epic says it will continue to allow Russian players access to its games, citing “the same reason other communication tools remain online: the free world should keep all lines of dialogue open.” (Most of the other companies mentioned here have allowed Russian accounts to continue to access previous purchases, too.)
While other gaming platforms remain technically online and do business in Russia, Penalties from major payment processors It appears to be affecting access to game purchases on some online storefronts. A (translator) The error message on the Russian Nintendo website He notes that “since the payment service used in the Nintendo eShop has suspended processing of payments in rubles, the Nintendo eShop in Russia has been temporarily put into maintenance mode.”
Credit card payments are also not available on Steam, although Russian users can still use existing Steam Wallet funds to make new purchases. PayPal purchases were still working on Steam before that company Russian service was cut off on Saturday.
While Sony has not made any public statements regarding the Russian PlayStation market, Gran Turismo 7 I was It is no longer available for purchase from the Russian PlayStation Store on Friday. This move comes within the framework of motorsport from the FIA as well Measures are being taken to prevent Russia’s participation in the eventsincluding esports.
While Russia is an important and growing market for major game publishers, the country doesn’t even break into the top 10 by gaming industry revenue, according to NewZoo 2021 Report. at Investor NoteCD Projekt Red noted that Russian and Belarusian customers accounted for 5.4 percent and 3.7 percent of the company’s sales in the past 12 months, respectively.