Microsoft, Activision, Netflix, Epic All Suspend Russian Sales

Microsoft, Activision, Netflix, Epic All Suspend Russian Sales

Activision this weekend Blizzard, Microsoft and Epic Games have announced that they are suspending their services in Russia due to the ongoing invasion of Ukraine. They are joining big names like Netflix, EA Games and CDPR in effectively boycotting the country over its illegal war.

Communication with Activision employees, and published on their websiteCOO Daniel Alegre wrote: “Today we are announcing that Activision Blizzard is suspending new sales of our games in Russia while this conflict continues.”

The letter goes on to detail the support the beleaguered company provides for affected employees, while also promising unspecified support to Ukrainians, as well as $300,000 raised by Activision employees and the publisher in a 2:1 ratio. Alegre also expresses gratitude to Polish colleagues for their support of Ukrainian refugees and concludes: “We stand with the Ukrainian people and will provide updates on any new actions we take as this crisis continues to unfold.”

Epic Games

Meanwhile, Epic Games tweeted that it is “stopping trade with Russia” as a result of the invasion. However, they add that they do not block access, claiming that their software is a “communication tool”. “The free world must keep all lines of dialogue open.”

While this article was being written, Ubisoft added a one-line statement to its post last week about the safety of its Ukrainian employees, announcing its plan to do the same. “In light of the ongoing tragedy in Ukraine, we have taken the decision to suspend our sales in Russia.”

Before the weekend, Microsoft responded to the appeal of the First Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine Mykhailo Fedorov to the Xbox and PlayStation to suspend sales in Russia. Microsoft wrote a blog post on Friday, saying it should “suspend all new sales of Microsoft products and services in Russia.” The company said of the invasion that it was “terrible, outraged and saddened by the images and news coming from the war in Ukraine and condemns this unjustified, unprovoked and illegal Russian invasion.”


CNBC reported yesterday that Netflix has also suspended its services in Russia, albeit for less than one million subscribers in the country. Last week also had Amazon Games suspension of Russian localization their games EA say they are working on removing Russian teams from NHL 22 as well as FIFA 22And announced by ESL they will not allow teams associated with the Russian government, nor individuals under sanctions. However, they did not ban Russian players as long as they “play under a neutral name.”

They were joined by CD Projekt Red, who tweeted on Thursday of its intention to stop all sales to Russia and Belarus, including on its online PC store GOG.

PlayStation seems to be a little more ambiguous in their actions, by the looks of it. pulling Gran Turismo 7 from their Russian shop but without any public announcement of the decision. No additional information appeared on their blog or social networks. (We have contacted Sony to inquire about their intentions and will let you know if we hear back.)

It is not yet clear what impact these suspensions will have on the Russian government. Obviously, an important factor at such moments becomes the importance of someone noticing that they are taking some kind of action, even if their results only affect Russian citizens who were not at all involved in the invasion.

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