Activision Blizzard’s president and CEO Daniel Alegre made the announcement in a company letter to employees that was shared publicly, “Today, we are announcing that Activision Blizzard will be suspending new sales of and in our games in Russia while this conflict continues. We will continue to look at ways to support the Ukrainian people. I want to reassure you that the safety of our employees is our leadership team’s top priority. We are doing everything possible to assist employees, and their families, who are being directly affected by this tragedy,”.
In the letter, Alegre also wrote about how the company is matching employee donations to organisations providing relief two-to-one (with a company matching limit between $1000 and $10,000). According to him, the company and employees have raised $300,000 like that so far. Activision Blizzard will also be adding additional charities for employees to choose from.
“I’d also like to applaud the tremendous contributions from our colleagues in Poland, where people have volunteered their time to assist Ukrainian refugees and others in need. We continue to work with them to find ways we can further assist this effort. We stand with the Ukrainian people and will provide updates on any new actions we take as this crisis continues to unfold,” added Alegre.
Epic is stopping commerce with Russia in our games in response to its invasion of Ukraine. We’re not blocking access for the same reason other communication tools remain online: the free world should keep all lines of dialogue open.
— Epic Games Newsroom (@EpicNewsroom) March 5, 2022
Epic Games made the announcement that it will be “stopping commerce with Russia” in its games as a response to the invasion of Ukraine in a tweet. The company did mention that it will not be blocking access to games for Russian, justifying it by comparing it to communication tools and saying that “the free world should keep all lines of dialogue open”.
With this development, Activision Blizzard and Epic Games join the growing list of gaming companies that have taken action against Russia; a list that includes Microsoft (Xbox), CD Projekt Red (Witcher and Cyberpunk 2077).
According to The Verge, EA Games has removed Russian teams from its popular FIFA and NBA games, while CD Projekt Red has banned the sale of both digital and physical copies of its games. Microsoft has suspended all new sales of its products and services in Russia, including Minecraft, which was removed from the Google Play and App Store in Russia.