Last week Russia launched a shocking invasion of neighboring Ukraine, and as the fighting intensifies, Ukrainian officials have called on gaming platforms to cut off service to the Russian market. Yesterday CD Projekt Red answered the call, suspending sales of their own products and those offered through their GOG storefront in Russia and Belarus, and now one of the big console-makers has followed suit. Microsoft has announced they are suspending all new sales and services in Russia, which will, of course, include Xbox hardware, Xbox Live, and Xbox Game Pass.
We are announcing today that we will suspend all new sales of Microsoft products and services in Russia. In addition, we are coordinating closely and working in lockstep with the governments of the United States, the European Union and the United Kingdom, and we are stopping many aspects of our business in Russia in compliance with governmental sanctions decisions.
In addition to terminating sales in Russia, Microsoft has detailed some of the efforts they’ve made to combat Russian cyber attacks on Ukraine and elsewhere…
We believe we are most effective in aiding Ukraine when we take concrete steps in coordination with the decisions being made by these governments and we will take additional steps as this situation continues to evolve. Our single most impactful area of work almost certainly is the protection of Ukraine’s cybersecurity. We continue to work proactively to help cybersecurity officials in Ukraine defend against Russian attacks, including most recently a cyberattack against a major Ukrainian broadcaster.
Since the war began, we have acted against Russian positioning, destructive or disruptive measures against more than 20 Ukrainian government, IT and financial sector organizations. We have also acted against cyberattacks targeting several additional civilian sites. We have publicly raised our concerns that these attacks against civilians violate the Geneva Convention.
With Microsoft suspending sales in Russia, it will be interesting to see how the other big console-makers respond. We’ve already seen hints that they may be preparing to make similar moves as Sony has removed the new Gran Turismo 7 from sale in Russia, and there are anecdotal reports Nintendo may be shutting down services in the country.
We here at Wccftech hope for a peaceful resolution to the conflict and the safety of all Ukrainian citizens. If you wish to donate to the International Committee of the Red Cross to support humanitarian efforts in Ukraine, head to this page.