World of Tanks developer Wargaming will no longer operate in Russia and Belarus.
In a statement emailed to Eurogamer, the company has conducted a strategic review of business operations worldwide, following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Its live games - namely World of Tanks - will be managed by a local studio no longer affiliated with Wargaming. It has also begun the process of closing its Minsk studio.
It's unclear now what projects Wargaming will work on next.
Below lies the statement in full:
"Over the past weeks, Wargaming has been conducting a strategic review of business operations worldwide. The company has decided it will not own or operate any businesses in Russia and Belarus.
"Effective March 31 the company transferred its live games business in Russia and Belarus to the local management of Lesta Studio which is no longer affiliated with Wargaming. The company will not profit from this process either today or going forward. Much to the contrary, we expect to suffer substantial losses as a direct result of this decision.
"We will be completing the operational transition with all due speed while remaining in full compliance with all laws and ensuring the ongoing safety and support of our employees. During the transition period, the live products will remain available in Russia and Belarus and will be operated by the new owner.
"Wargaming has also started the process of closing its studio in Minsk. It will be conducted in strict compliance with the law. Heads of Products and Services will be meeting with their teams shortly to discuss the impact of this decision on each department.
"We will provide as much severance and support as possible to employees affected by the change."
A similar statement on the studio website adds: "Despite the magnitude of this decision, we as a company are confident in the future of our business and are committed to delivering quality games to our players."Wargaming is not the first company to cease business in Russia. Ukraine deputy prime minister Mykhailo Fedorov called for companies to stop supporting Russian markets. Microsoft, PlayStation, Nintendo, CD Projekt and more followed suit.
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