A short time after Microsoft halted sales of its products, including games, in Russia, EA has now followed suit. EA says it’s suspending sales of its games and content in Russia and Belarus, and that this will include sales of “virtual currency bundles”, which will cut off the company’s lucrative FIFA Ultimate Team business in the region, too.
“Our games and content will no longer be available for purchase in our Russian region storefront on Origin or the EA app, including through in-game stores,” as EA explains in the announcement. “We are also working with our platform partners to remove our titles from their stores and stop the sale of new in-game content in the region.”
EA previously announced that Russian teams would be removed from its current FIFA and NHL games, following the suspension of those teams from the real-world sports organisations represented in the games. EA says it continues to evaluate “other areas of our games and operations, and will update with any further actions”.
This comes after a call from Ukranian vice prime minister Mykhailo Fedorov for all game developers worldwide to suspend access to Russian players. The hope, as Fedorov explains in his open letter, is that by cutting off the region from worldwide goods and services, Russian civilians will put more pressure on their government to end the invasion.
You are definitely aware of what is happening in Ukraine right now. Russia declare war not for Ukraine but for all civilized world. If you support human values, you should live the Russian market! pic.twitter.com/tnQr13BsSv
— Mykhailo Fedorov (@FedorovMykhailo) March 2, 2022
“We continue to be shocked at the conflict that is unfolding in Ukraine, and join so many voices around the world in calling for peace and an end to the invasion,” EA says in today’s announcement. “We stand in solidarity with the people of Ukraine. Our primary concern is the ongoing safety of those in the region, particularly colleagues and partners, and we are seeking to understand how we might best help them further beyond our programs that are already in place.”
If you would like to support Ukraine yourself, you can donate to UNICEF, Doctors Without Borders, and Voices of Children at those links.