The world is currently in turmoil with the horrendous events taking place in Ukraine right now. It’s a real tragedy.
While there’s not much many of us can do outside of Ukraine, we can put pressure on Russia financially. It’s therefore great to see companies pulling out of the Russian market or halting all business in Russia and Belarus.
Companies such as CD Projekt and EA have already halted game sales in Russia and Belarus. Companies from all over the world from all industries are trying to do their bit to stop the war by applying financial pressure.
While this is not great news for videogamers in Russia and Belarus, they must know what is really happening on the ground outside of state media where the narrative is very different from reality. By stopping sales, it will hopefully make some people wonder why and sit up and take notice. Pressure on the Russian government needs to be applied by the people, and while that is risky under the current regime, it could go some way to making this stop.
Activision Blizzard has now followed suit issuing the following statement:
Throughout the past week, we have watched the news from Ukraine and the worsening humanitarian crisis that is unfolding. Our company’s commitment is to help those impacted by this terrifying violence and to provide assistance in every way possible.
Today, we are announcing that Activision Blizzard will be suspending new sales of and in our games in Russia while this conflict continues. 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.
I also want to take a moment to recognize the incredible work of our teams to support the Ukrainian people. The company is matching employee donations 2:1 to organizations providing immediate relief in the region. Together we have raised over $300,000 in this effort. Next week we plan to add additional charities to choose from for consideration and also will raise the company matching limit from $1,000 to $10,000.
I’d also like to applaud the tremendous contributions from our colleagues in Poland, where people have volunteered their time to assist Ukrainian refugees and others in need. We continue to work with them to find ways we can further assist this effort. We stand with the Ukrainian people and will provide updates on any new actions we take as this crisis continues to unfold.
Our hearts go out to the people of Ukraine, what’s happening is appalling.