Game developers pull games from Russia in response to invasion

The Witcher 3 Image Official
The Witcher 3 Image Official (Image credit: CD Projekt Red)

What you need to know

  • Russia is invading Ukraine.
  • Multiple game companies in and around Ukraine have engaged in fundraising efforts to support Ukraine.
  • Several companies are now pulling their games from being available for purchase in Russia.

Update, March 4 (11:33 am ET): Electronic Arts is also pulling its games from being available for sale in Russia and Belarus.

Update, March 4 (11:45 pm ET): Microsoft is suspending sales of its products in Russia, including Xbox consoles and software.

Update, March 4 (10:00 pm ET): Amazon is ceasing work on the Russian localization of New World.

Russia is invading Ukraine, resulting in a war with mounting casualties and the disruption of life for millions. Now, multiple gaming studios and publishers are starting to take action by pulling or limiting their games in Russia.

Bloober Team, known for its work on horror games like The Medium, is working to pull its games from sale in Russia and Belarus, noting on Twitter that "We want to be a part of a world that doesn't turn a blind eye to warmongering. And we won't stay neutral when human lives are at stake."

CD Projekt RED, the developer responsible for The Witcher games and Cyberpunk 2077 — the latter of which recently relaunched with a host of updates — is now suspending digital sales and physical shipments of products to Russia and Belarus. This includes game sales on GOG, the PC storefront owned and operated by the developer's parent company, CD Projekt.

"We know that players in Russia and Belarus, individuals who have nothing to do with the invasion of Ukraine, will be impacted by this decision, but with this action we wish to further galvanize the global community to speak about what is going on in the heart of Europe," CD Projekt Red's statement explains.

Finally, publisher Electronic Arts (EA) is pulling Russian clubs from FIFA 22, FIFA Mobile, and FIFA Online. EA is also "actively evaluating related changes" to other games, per a statement on Twitter.

This comes just a few days after multiple gaming companies shared fundraising efforts for Ukraine, while roundly condemning the invasion. Studios in Ukraine are being affected by the war, with GSC Game World ceasing development on Stalker 2: Heart of Chernobyl until the invasion ends.

Update, March 4 (11:33 am ET) — EA doubles down

Following the initial step of removing Russian clubs from FIFA titles, EA is now ceasing the sale of its games and service in Russia and Belarus. In the announcement, EA noted that "We stand in solidarity with the people of Ukraine" and that further possible actions are being reviewed.

Update, March 4 (11:45 am ET) — Microsoft pulls products

Microsoft is suspending sales of its products in Russia. This includes sales of Xbox consoles and software. Microsoft president Brad Smith referred to the invasion as "unjustified, unprovoked and unlawful" in a statement accompaying the news.

Update, March 4 (10:00 pm ET) — New World's Russian localization canceled

Speaking with TechRadar, Amazon Games confirmed that it is halting the Russian localization of New World.

Samuel Tolbert
Freelance Writer

Samuel Tolbert is a freelance writer covering gaming news, previews, reviews, interviews and different aspects of the gaming industry, specifically focusing on Xbox and PC gaming on Windows Central. You can find him on Twitter @SamuelTolbert.