Ubisoft, Activision Blizzard and Take-Two Interactive have become the latest companies to halt game sales in Belarus and/or Russia. In the wake of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the three companies follow in the footsteps of several others to halt sales in the two countries, including EA, Microsoft, CD Projekt Red, Bloober Team, Epic Games, and Nintendo.
More companies halt sales of their games in Russia
Activision was the first of the three companies to make the decision. Company COO Daniel Alegre announced they would be suspending the sale of games and in-game content “while this conflict continues”. The message to employees also explained how the company was matching employee donations on a ratio of 2:1 with the aim of increasing this ratio to 10:1 next week. At the time of writing, more than $300,000 had been donated. He also thanked Activision’s Polish employees for donating their time to help “Ukrainian refugees and others in need”.
Ubisoft’s statement was a bit more to the point, simply stating they had “decided to suspend our sales in Russia”. However, in an earlier statement, the company had explained how they had helped their developers in the country to relocate to neighboring countries, established an emergency communication system, and provided additional funds to those affected. The publisher has two studios in Ukraine, one in Kyiv and another in Odesa.
Finally, Take-Two Interactive went a step further in the prevention of their products reaching Russia and Belarus, telling GamesIndustry.biz they were stopping “new sales, installations, and marketing support across all our labels” in the two countries. According to recent figures, Grand Theft Auto V is the third most popular game in Russia, and its removal is likely to cause a significant blow to the gaming community there.
In other news, a new PS5 System Software update has been released today, but all the patch notes said it does is to improve system performance. Elsewhere, Sony is holding a State of Play show tomorrow, March 9, but there isn’t likely to be any appearances from any PlayStation Studios games like Sly Cooper or Infamous.
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