Microsoft has announced that it will suspend all new sales of Microsoft products and services, which would include Xbox consoles, games, and services, in Russia following the country’s invasion of Ukraine. Previously, Mykhailo Fedorov, the Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Digital Transformation of Ukraine, had called on Xbox, PlayStation, and other game development companies and esports platforms to temporarily block all Russian and Belarusian accounts among other measures.
“Like the rest of the world, we are horrified, angered and saddened by the images and news coming from the war in Ukraine and condemn this unjustified, unprovoked and unlawful invasion by Russia,” the announcement, attributed to Microsoft President and Vice Chair Brad Smith, begins.
“We are announcing today that we will suspend all new sales of Microsoft products and services in Russia,” the announcement continues. “In addition, we are coordinating closely and working in lockstep with the governments of the United States, the European Union and the United Kingdom, and we are stopping many aspects of our business in Russia in compliance with governmental sanctions decisions.
While the statement does not explicitly mention Xbox or any of the other services and platforms underneath the greater Microsoft umbrella, “Microsoft products and services” does a lot of work to, well, refer to all Microsoft products and services. That would theoretically include everything from sales of Windows operating systems to the latest video games from Bethesda, which Microsoft completed its acquisition of last year.
“As a company, we are committed to the safety of our employees in Ukraine and we are in constant contact with them to offer support in many forms, including those who have needed to flee for their lives or safety,” the announcement from Microsoft concludes. “Like so many others, we stand with Ukraine in calling for the restoration of peace, respect for Ukraine’s sovereignty and the protection of its people.”
In addition to Microsoft, other major companies including Disney and also Warner Bros. have paused the distribution of their products in Russia and Belarus. Just yesterday, The Witcher III: Wild Hunt developer CD Projekt Red’s parent company, CD Projekt, halted all sales in both Russia and Belarus.