Gamers in Crimea are currently unable to access Battle.net-based titles such as Hearthstone, World of Warcraft and Diablo III.
PC Gamer reports that publisher Blizzard has revoked access to its network in the region to comply with US sanctions. Crimea is currently at the centre of a sovereignty dispute after last year’s revolution and subsequent Russian annexation.
In accordance with current trade regulations relating to the region of Crimea, we are legally required to suspend access to your Battle.net account,” an email to Battle.net users in the region stated. Any recurring subscription payment will be cancelled. We are sincerely sorry that you’re being impacted in this way; if the situation changes, we will happily do our best to restore access to your account."
It is understood that the blockage has been implemented in line with the Office of Foreign Assets Control’s Executive Order 13685, which came into effect on December 19th, that prohibits "the exportation, reexportation, sale, or supply, directly or indirectly, from the United States, or by a United States person, wherever located, of any goods, services, or technology to the Crimea region of Ukraine".
Of course, many gamers in the region have already found ways to bypass the restrictions, but the less technically savvy are facing the potential loss of progress and characters across several titles.