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Activision Blizzard, Epic Games, and Take-Two to halt sales in Russia

All three companies announced plans to halt sales in Russia, although Epic said it wouldn't block access to its titles.

Activision Blizzard, Epic Games, and Take-Two Interactive are the latest game companies to suspend sales in Russia following the invasion of Ukraine.

In a statement published on March 4, 2022, Activision Blizzard explained it will be halting new sales of its products, including in-game items, in Russia while the conflict continues.

The Call of Duty and World of Warcraft publisher said it would also work to support the Ukrainian people affected by the Russian invasion, and pledged to do everything possible to help any employees directly affected by the war.

"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," wrote the company.

"If you or a colleague needs support, please don’t hesitate to reach out to your manager or local HR leaders. I’d also like to remind you that our Employee Assistance Program is available to those who need emotional support during this difficult time."

The company also announced it is matching employee donations 2:1 as its teams work to raise money for the Ukrainian people, and said it has raised over $300,000 so far.

Epic Games, meanwhile, explained it would be "stopping commerce with Russia" in response to its invasion of Ukraine. The Fortnite maker clarified that it wouldn't be blocking access to its titles, however, citing a belief that "the free world should keep all lines of dialogue open."

The company made the announcement on Twitter over the weekend and hasn't explained precisely what that means for its various products, which includes the Unreal Engine, popular battle royale title Fortnite, and the Epic Games Store.

Grand Theft Auto Online publisher Take-Two Interactive has also halted sales as well as marketing in Russia, and provided Game Developer with the following statement: "We have watched recent events unfold in Ukraine with concern and sadness. After significant consideration, last week, we decided to stop new sales, installations, and marketing support across all our labels in Russia and Belarus at this time."

All of the above companies announced their respective decisions shortly after Microsoft, EA, CD Projekt Red, and Bloober Team outlined plans to halt sales in Russia. Some companies have also stopped operating in Belarus, which assisted with the Russian invasion.

Updated to include Take-Two's decision to halt game sales in Russia.

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