Activision Blizzard has announced it is "suspending new sales of and in [its] games in Russia" whilst its unprovoked war against Ukraine persists. The company is also matching employee donations 2:1 to organisations "providing immediate relief in the region".
In a press release, Activision Blizzard president and COO Daniel Alegre said the company was committed to helping "those impacted by this terrifying violence and to provide assistance in every way possible".
"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," Alegre said.
"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.
"I also want to take a moment to recognise the incredible work of our teams to support the Ukrainian people," the statement continued. "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."
@Xbox @PlayStation— Mykhailo Fedorov (@FedorovMykhailo) March 2, 2022
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
It follows calls from Ukraine's deputy prime minister to video game companies, esports organisations - and specifically both PlayStation and Xbox - to do more to pile pressure on the Russian regime.
Across the games industry, companies have responded with large donations to humanitarian organisations, and support for staff based in Ukraine. Earlier this week, the PC and console release of The Chinese Room's Little Orpheus was delayed due to the game's Russian themes and content, and top esports team Navi also said it would no longer work with Russia's main esports group. Apple has paused product sales in the country.
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