Activision Blizzard has stopped all games in Russia after the Russian-Ukraine war. The company says they scrapped the idea of releasing and marketing new titles in Russia, including Call of Duty and World of Warcraft, to avoid any possible misunderstandings with the authorities there.
The game giant also mentioned that it would be unable to discuss or promote its games or “engage in any activities… that might suggest Activision Blizzard’s endorsement” of developments involving Ukraine. The firm is a popular entity among gamers from Ukraine who now face an unpleasantly bewildering situation when trying to access games on Battle Net, where many popular titles are unavailable due to what Activision describes as a “difficult market environment.
In a message on the official WoW website, CEO of World of Warcraft creator Blizzard, Mike Morhaime says that the game is “completely unaffected by [its] current political environment,” implying that the game will remain available to Ukrainian players.
“Safety and security are of paramount importance to us. We’ve made these design decisions for players who choose to continue playing World of Warcraft in areas where those services are interrupted by local events.”
However, the leaked letter from Activision Blizzard’s CEO sent to employees dealing with Russian accounts stated that Russian citizens have had their access to online services suspended until further notice. The company has also deleted pages from its Russian website that mentioned information about its games and the company itself.
Activision Blizzard is most likely trying not to anger the Russian government, but in doing so it looks as if it’s giving up on a potentially large market for new Russian games and for World of Warcraft, which remains one of the most popular MMOs in the world despite being ten years old. They have also shown their support for Ukraine by canceling plans to release Call of Duty: Ghosts in Russia and removing any Destiny-related content on their website. However, there are still plenty of license plates with Activision Blizzard references on cars driving around Moscow these days. Read more about Activision Blizzard in this article