Electronic Arts to Stop Video Game Sales in Russia, Joining Growing Sales Ban

73 20/05/2022

Electronic Arts (EA) is the latest tech company to stop selling products in Russia in the wake of the country's invasion of Ukraine.

"We have made the decision to stop sales of our games and content, including virtual currency bundles, in Russia and Belarus while this conflict continues," EA said in a statement(Opens in a new window) on Friday.

“As a result, 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,” it added.

EA games will also be removed from third-party stores for users based in Russia and Belarus. That means major game franchises—including Battlefield, Mass Effect, Command and Conquer, The Sims and various EA sports titles—will no longer be available for new customers in the two countries. In addition, EA is going to stop selling “new in-game content” to customers who already own the company’s games.

The sales ban is a much stronger response from EA than it had earlier in the week; on Wednesday, it said(Opens in a new window) it was merely removing the Russian teams from FIFA 22 and NHL 22. The company did so after the real-life FIFA and UEFA soccer organizations decided to ban the country's teams from their competitions.

In enacting its sales ban, EA cited the growing violence in Ukraine. “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. We stand in solidarity with the people of Ukraine,” it said.

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On the same day, Microsoft also announced it would suspend new product sales to Russia, which will make it harder for the country’s consumers to buy an Xbox to play EA games. In addition, AMD and Intel are stopping their chip sales to Russia; Apple also enacted its own sales ban. Meanwhile, polish game developer CD Projekt RED has begun barring its own games from entering the Russian market.

All this points to growing momentum for a wide-reaching sales ban of technology consumer products to Russia. At the same time, the US has imposed sanctions, banning American companies from exporting sensitive technologies to Russia’s defense, aerospace, and maritime sectors. As a result, the flow of electronics to the country is starting to come to a serious halt.

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