Why game and entertainment companies attract support in Russia


Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has almost been condemned by the international community. Sanctions from all over the world increase day by day, The Kremlin’s financial system has been completely boycotted by global financial institutionsand the Biden administration recently revealed Russian energy import embargo. These are unprecedented efforts, and they are not limited to Capitol Hill. In fact, video game and entertainment companies, many of which often play a non-political role in their messaging, have or suspend sales or services in Russia or make changes to their services around the world.

Microsoft has suspended all sales of new products and services in Russia in accordance with economic parameters laid out by Biden’s foreign policy department, adding that it will continue “to help security officials Cybersecurity in Ukraine defends against Russian attacks.” Nintendo and Sony are not US companies and therefore they are not subject to US regulations, but Advance Wars 1+2: Re-Boot Camp was previously delayed without specifically naming the game. invade, (quoting “recent world events instead”) while subsequently suspending all sales, including the launch of the latest game, Gran Turismo 7, in Russia. That’s just the tip of the iceberg. We are in the midst of a historic economic protest against the Kremlin, and several major publishers are sitting on the sidelines.

So why are these companies sticking their necks out like this? It depends on the situation.

There are many reasons why entertainment companies restrict their business in Russia

Some studios seem to be actually responding to public pressure. Those include EA, which removed all Russian players and teams from FIFA 22, and Epic has suspended domestic commerce but still keep its communication tools accessible. (Activision has gone a step furtherraised $300,000 in support and corresponds to any employee contributions to Ukraine on a two-for-one basis.)

It’s surprising to see the game industry take a tough stance on a political issue this hot. But the invasion of Ukraine remains polarized black and white in the general Western consciousness, and that has created the scaffolding for large, publicly traded companies to move into the right side of history.

Ukrainian officials have made it clear that they want all to join hands – regardless of industry – in a united front against the aggressors. On March 2, before many of these isolation measures were announced, Mykhailo Fedorov, deputy prime minister of Ukraine, beg game field to “temporarily block all Russian and Belorussian accounts”, and to terminate any planned e-sports events in the two countries.

How business constraints led to some corporate actions

But other reasons for the boycott were more malicious and less politically charged. For example, Nintendo has halted shipments to Russia because, in the company’s words, “significant variation around the logistics of transporting and distributing physical goods. “On the other hand, Amazon has brought the suspension of their service (including payments to Russian Twitch streamers) with a series of sanctions against Biden, preventing US companies from sending air, international room and shipping of components, along with higher-tech items such as semiconductors and telecommunications equipment,” to the countryside, to the country.

Other reasons for boycotts are less politically charged.

This is tied to the fact that many Russian third-party monetization options have been canceled. PayPal, Mastercard, Visa and American Express no longer work at the border, which makes it impossible for companies that rely on that payment infrastructure to serve Russian customers. For example: epic, announced that competitive Fortnite players are eligible to win cash prizes until “Epic Payments Providers can continue to provide valuable support to players residing in Russia.”

Other social companies, like TikTok, have left the region in response to the Putin administration’s newly announced censorship policy. threatens legal prison time for anyone found to be spreading what the Kremlin determines to be fake news – a truly ominous range of power that makes dissemination in the domestic media more or less unverifiable. (For example, the New York Times has moved all its journalists out of Russia.) This thinking is echoed by Netflix, who withdrew from the country after refusing to carry out a series of pro-Russian channels, following a new law claim all streaming services with more than 100,000 subscribers to carry out state propaganda.

In general, much of the exclusion seems to stem from genuine social sensibilities. It is reflected by the gamers themselves; As of this writing, an package has raised $5.2 million for Ukrainian refugees. Putin’s opposition to war became a mainstream belief in the practical hobby overnight.

Cultural pressure instead of pure economic pressure

Regardless, the big game publishers and entertainment corporations that implement these sanctions will face some financial holes. This is not a decision they have taken lightly as every company obeys its shareholders and demands of constant growth. GamesIndustryBiz notes that Take-Two is one of the companies suspending sales in Russia, despite the fact that Grand Theft Auto Online is the third most popular game in the country by monthly active users.

That’s a pretty big, if temporary, contraction to Take-Two’s market share, which will likely show up on its next earnings call. Even so, GamesIndustryBiz reports that video games account for less than one percent of total Russian consumer spending. It is unlikely that the Kremlin’s war machine will be paralyzed by the severe scarcity of cosmetic stores.

Finally, Russia is simply not a major component of the gaming or film industry’s portfolio. GamesIndustryBiz reports that, overall, the country accounts for only six percent of the purchasing power of video game consumer spending in Europe, while, as The Atlantic notes, Russia is only the ninth largest country. market in 2019. It’s no doubt easier for companies to blame Russia – especially when the country’s economic index is expected to shrink as much 11% and likely to be continuously degraded.

“This is a small drop in this group of companies compared to other markets,” said Shon Hiatt, associate professor of management and organization at USC. Interview with ABC. But all in all, all these moves are not a small drop for the Russian economy, and Time note, the more companies do this, the more volatile the Russian economy becomes. That acts as a major kind of “diplomatic leverage” in situations like these. The moves to force a company like Twitch to stop paying Russia’s Twitch broadcasters completely affect those livelihoods, but in the long run, the broader collective effort means pressure. on those in power by undermining such a core pillar of stability of the country, especially on a worldwide basis – its economic position.

Editor’s Note: The war in Ukraine is an ongoing, painful and emotional subject. IGN urges community members to be respectful when engaging in conversation around this topic and to not endorse harassment of any kind.

Luke Winkie is a contributing writer for IGN. Follow him on Twitter at @luke_winkie. Why game and entertainment companies attract support in Russia

Fry Electronics Team

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