The invasion of Russia on Ukraine is taking a toll on Ukrainians. Call it a work of Karma, but Russia is also facing several issues due to war. Apart from a dent in its economy and currency, Russia’s video game market is facing a crisis of its own.
Activision Blizzard and Epic Games have joined the list of publishers to halt the sale of their video games. Some other publishers who have already paused the selling of their video games are Microsoft, CD Projekt Red, and Electronic Arts.
The List Expands
Russian consumers will no longer have access to purchase their favorite games under the brand Epic Games and Activision Blizzard. Both brands have temporarily halted the sale of their video games in the country.
Daniel Alegre, the President and Chief Operating Officer of Activision Blizzard, said in an employee letter that the company was pausing the sale of its video games to Russian consumers.
The publicly shared employee letter also read that it was temporarily stopping to offer in-game microtransactions to Russian consumers.
Epic Games published a tweet on March 06, 2022, to announce that it was stopping commerce with Russia. However, the company is not blocking access and keeping its communication tools online.
It also said in the tweet that the free world should keep all lines of dialogue open. The announcement by Epic Games came one day after Activision Blizzard broke the news to its community.
There is little clarity in the announcement of Epic Games about the company halting the sale only for its title or any in-game microtransactions that it offers in Fortnite.
One thing that came out similarly in their respective announcements of Epic Games and Activision Blizzard was that neither of them mentioned Belarus.
By halting the sale of their games, both companies have joined the list that already has Microsoft, CD Projekt Red, and Electronic Arts.
Russia must not be underestimated in terms of the video games market. As per the data available, Russian ranks 8th in the list of the global video games market. It generated approximately $2.7 billion in industry revenue in 2021.
After the announcement, Epic Games has started receiving several replies to its tweet. One of the users expressed confusion about not halting chats. Another user has requested the company to do the same with Ukraine.
Many other companies that have suspended their sales and distant themselves from Russia include Apple, Nike, Dell, Facebook, and Google. While everyone has paused the sale, Facebook and Google have taken measures to restrict the Russian companies from earning through their revenue model.
Brad Smith, the President of Microsoft, went on record to say that in addition to suspending the sale of its products, the company was also stopping other aspects of its business in Russia in response to the compliance with the sanctions imposed by the Government.