xbox: Ukraine vice PM urges Sony and Microsoft to leave the Russian gaming market

The Russia-Ukraine conflict is escalating by the day. The Big Tech companies like Google, Apple, Microsoft and Facebook have followed the sanctions on Russia by imposing several restrictions. In the latest development, Mykhailo Fedorov, Ukrainian Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Digital Transformation, has urged Sony and Microsoft, and other game developers, to leave the Russian market.
In a letter posted on Twitter, with the Xbox and PlayStation tagged directly in the tweet, the vice PM addressed all game development companies and esports platforms. A part of the letter is presented here:
“The armed forces and citizens are defending Ukraine till the end! The whole world is repelling the aggressor through the imposition of sanctions – the enemy must suffer significant losses. But we need your support – in 2022, modern technology is perhaps the best answer to tanks, multiple rocket launches (hrad) and missiles.
I am sure that you will not only hear, but also do everything possible to protect Ukraine, Europe and finally, the entire democratic world from bloody authoritarian aggression – and I appeal to temporarily block all Russian and Belorussian accounts, temporarily stop the participation of Russian and Belorussian teams and gamers in all international esports events and cancel all international events holding on the territory of Russia and Belarus.”

If the two companies hear his call, they might stop selling the physical and digital game copies in Russia, not allow Russian teams to participate in esports tournaments, and shut down their game subscription services in Russia. While it may not bother the Russian military much, it will certainly be seen as an act of opposition to the invasion of Ukraine.
Microsoft has already removed Russian state-owned media outlet RT’s mobile apps from the Windows App store and banned advertisements on Russian state-sponsored media. It has de-ranked the search results for Russian channels on Bing and has decided not to place ads from its ad network on Russian sites. So, it may also take severe steps when it comes to the Xbox console sales and subscription service in Russia.

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