Activision Blizzard and Epic pause game sales in Russia

They join a variety of other publishers halting sales in the country.

Igor Bonifacic / Engadget

Activision Blizzard and Epic Games have joined a growing list of publishers suspending sales of their games in Russia due to the country’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine. In an employee letter it shared publicly on Friday, Activision president and chief operating officer Daniel Alegre said the company would pause selling its games to Russian consumers. It will also temporarily stop offering in-game microtransactions to those same customers.

One day after Activision’s announcement, Epic Games said it too was halting transactions within the country. “Epic is stopping commerce with Russia in our games in response to its invasion of Ukraine,” the company said. “We’re not blocking access for the same reason other communication tools remain online: the free world should keep all lines of dialogue open.”

It’s unclear if Epic’s decision includes both its own titles and any in-game microtransactions it offers in Fortnite. What’s more, notably neither Activision nor Epic mentioned Belarus in their respective announcements.

In halting sales to Russia, Activision and Epic join companies like Microsoft, Electronic Arts and CD Projekt Red. Russia isn’t a small market either. According to a 2021 estimate from Statista, the country, with approximately $2.7 billion in industry revenue that year, was the eighth largest market for video games.