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How Gaming Is Blocking Support For Russia

Russia's ongoing invasion of Ukraine has echoed across many different industries. Many private industries across the world are choosing to show solidarity towards Ukraine any way they can. For example, the highly anticipated worldwide release of "The Batman" has temporarily omitted Russia due to the ongoing conflict. And now, it seems the video game industry could be the next major player to make a stand against the country going forward.

In an open letter published on Twitter, Ukraine's deputy prime minister Mykhailo Fedorov has called upon video game developers and eSports platforms to prevent participation and block all support to both Russia and Belarus — a Russian ally — in the interim. Tagging both PlayStation and Xbox in his post, Fedorov called for these companies and organizations to "temporarily block all Russian and Belarusian accounts, temporarily stop the participation of Russian and Belarusian teams and gamers in all international esports events and cancel all international events holding on the territory of Russia and Belarus."

As of now, neither Sony nor Microsoft have responded to requests for comment on the issue (via IGN). However, fans are already seeing ways in which the gaming industry in Russia is being blocked as a result of the sanctions placed on the country.

How is Russia's game industry being effected by the Russia-Ukraine conflict?

As of right now, no gaming company has outright denied support for Russian gamers, though many companies have expressed support of Ukraine in the wake of the invasion. Development companies like 11-bit Studios have made political statements and donations to support Ukraine, and CD Projekt has supported the country via a direct donation. The Bungie-created "Destiny 2" hosted a 48-hour event in which 100% of its proceeds to "humanitarian aid efforts" through its Games2Give drive.

However, there is one area in which the gaming industry in Russia has been directly affected. Due to the United States' sanctions against any state-owned bank in Russia, many developers in the country have been unable to receive any of its Steam payouts. @YellowAfterlife on Twitter shared translated screenshots of Russian developers being denied profits on their products from Steam due to the payments being prohibited from going through select institutions. However, these developers are able to still receive their money should they wish to go through alternative, unauthorized means (via TheGamer).