Activision Blizzard suspending all “new sales” of its games in Russia

"We stand with the Ukrainian people," said Activision

Activision Blizzard has announced that it is suspending all game sales in Russia amid the country’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine.

The Call Of Duty publisher made the announcement via a press release on Friday (March 4), written by president and COO Daniel Alegre. The company said it is also matching every one of its employee donations 2:1, with roughly £225,000 ($300,000 USD) raised for Ukraine relief charities so far.

On February 24, Russia launched military action in Ukraine, forcing its citizens to flee from their homes and seek refuge in neighbouring countries to the west.

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“Today, we are announcing that Activision Blizzard will be suspending new sales of and in our games in Russia while this conflict continues,” wrote Alegre. This means the sale of game series’ like Call Of DutyWorld Of Warcraft and Overwatch will be impacted in Russia.

COD Vanguard in game screenshot
Call of Duty: Vanguard. Credit: Activision

“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.

“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,” Alegre added.

The Call Of Duty maker has thus joined the likes of Microsoft, CD Projekt Red and EA in temporarily stopping business in Russia during its invasion of Ukraine. NME has put together a round-up (published on March 4) of how the games industry has responded to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, with more to surely happen in the coming weeks.

Activision Blizzard’s decision also comes alongside the ongoing misconduct scandal at the company, one that it says has caused problems with hiring and retaining new staff.

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In other news, more details have emerged about Halo Infinite Season 2.

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