Epic Games Leaves ‘Fortnite’ Online In Russia, But Is ‘Stopping Commerce’ There – Forbes

Fortnite
Epic Games is the latest major video game industry player to come out with a move against Russia in the midst of their invasion of Ukraine.
But rather than a lengthy blog post, Epic Games posted a single tweet from their “newsroom” PR account explaining the move:
So, in this case “stopping commerce in our games” would mean you can’t buy Fortnite V-Bucks in Russia, but I do wonder if this wording extends to not selling games at all through the Epic Games Store in the region, as it doesn’t sound like it.
Epic has said they’re leaving their services and games online, as apparently they view something like Fortnite as a way for people to communicate openly within the country, as Russia has now cracked down on more traditional social networks like Facebook, blocking it nationwide.
I can understand the logic here, as cutting off communication between gamers within the country doesn’t accomplish much, while stopping commerce does hit at Russia financially, so the move does make sense. This seems similar to what Microsoft has done in Russia, where they are stopping new sales to Russia, but they are not shutting down services within the country itself, probably for similar reasons.
I wondered about if Steam would take a similar move with its store, as we haven’t heard from them yet, but I’ve heard that most Russians are unable to buy things from Steam anyway due to various sanctions and restrictions now blocking their payment methods, but I want to investigate that further to confirm.
At this point, we’re seeing a growing list of game companies who have announced some sort of action against Russia, and a shrinking list of those who haven’t. Microsoft, Sony, CDPR, Activision Blizzard, EA and now Epic have made statements or stopped sales to some degree. We haven’t yet heard from the likes of Ubisoft, Nintendo, Square Enix, Take-Two and Capcom, among others.
The war is only escalating in Ukraine, with the human costs mounting. At a certain point pretty much none of these companies will be able to stay silent, though that may not be as relevant as what larger nation-state actors do as the conflict increases in intensity. For many companies, this is not just a symbolic move. The Polish CDPR reportedly owes at least 10% of its sales to the region, so these moves will come with real hits to these companies to a certain extent.
As ever, expect more of these announcements to come, with no end in sight for when they may be reversed.
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