Activision Blizzard and Epic Games suspend sales in Russia

Activision Blizzard and Epic Games have joined the growing list of industry figures suspending their operations in Russia, in the wake of Russian president Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.

In a statement sent to employees and shared on the Activision Blizzard website, company president and COO Daniel Alegre announced that the publisher was suspending sales of its games in Russia while the conflict continues.

“We will continue to look at ways to support the Ukrainian people,” reads the statement. “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.

“If you or a colleague needs support, please don’t hesitate to reach out to your manager or local HR leaders. I’d also like to remind you that our Employee Assistance Program is available to those who need emotional support during this difficult time.”

Additionally, Activision Blizzard has pledged to match employee donations 2:1 to organisations providing immediate relief in the region. The company has so far raised $300,000, and intends to add additional charities for consideration and raise the company matching limit from $1,000 to $10,000 next week.

“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,” the statement continues. “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.”

Epic Games has also announced that it is pulling out of the Russian market, announcing that it is stopping commerce with the country in a short statement shared via Twitter.

While the company has suspended sales of its products in the country, it has not blocked access entirely “for the same reason other communication tools remain online: the free world should keep all lines of dialogue open.”

 

About Chris Wallace

Chris is a freelancer writer and was MCV/DEVELOP's staff writer from November 2019 until May 2022. He joined the team after graduating from Cardiff University with a Master's degree in Magazine Journalism. He can be found on Twitter at @wallacec42, where he mostly explores his obsession with the Life is Strange series, for which he refuses to apologise.

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