repercussions on technology and video games

The invasion of Ukraine by Russia has caused multiple repercussions that go beyond the drama of the war and that involve large technology companies and video game publishers. The former have decided to suspend or limit their business in Russia, while the latter have stopped selling their games in that country. In addition, Sony has not released Gran Turismo 7 through the PlayStation Store and like other theatrical distributors has paused the release of films.

The last and perhaps most important technology company that has joined the Russian veto has been Microsoft, which through a message signed by its president Brad Smith has announced that it is suspending “all new sales of products and services.” This should affect the Xbox, Azure, Office and Windows business among others. In its statement, Microsoft specifically points to “new sales” and does not mention existing service contracts, which if there are no changes will be fulfilled as stipulated.

Microsoft also condemns Russia’s “unjustified, unprovoked and illegal invasion” of Ukraine and says it is working to stop cyberattacks. Some have already occurred. Among the technology companies that have suspended or limited their business in Russia we find Apple, Google, Dell, Facebook, Netflix, Spotify and HP among many others. It is not only about showing the rejection of war. Due to economic sanctions and the expulsion of some banks from the SWIFT network, doing business in Russia is currently very difficult.

To the Russian veto we must add the measures that the affected country is taking. Currently in Russia services like Twitter are limited, while Facebook has been blocked.

EA and CD Projekt Red withdraw their games from Russia and Sony does not release Gran Turismo 7

Beyond the part that touches Microsoft, in the video game sector the war in Ukraine is also being noticed. The Polish company CD Projekt Red (The Witcher and Cyberpunk 2077) has announced that it is stopping the sale of its games in Russia and Belarus, which are also left without access to GOG. Electronic Arts has followed the same path and in addition to suspending sales of its titles, has withdrawn Origin. Another measure that the American publisher has taken has been to remove the Russian teams from FIFA 22 and NHL 22.

For its part, Sony has not released Gran Turismo 7 on the Russian PlayStation Store. The game appears in the digital store, but there is no option to buy it. On the other hand, Nintendo has suspended payments in rubles in the eShop and the Russian version of the digital store will be in maintenance mode until further notice. The company continues to sell the games in physical format in Russia, so this measure is possibly due to the action of a third party. Neither of the two Japanese companies has commented on the matter.

Other companies like Bloober Team (Layers of Fear, The Medium, Observer) have also pulled their games from Russian stores, while many others are raising funds to help Ukraine. Finally, mention the situation of the Ukrainian team GSC Game World, which has paused the development of STALKER 2 to “help our employees and their families survive.” Slava Ukrayini.

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