Microsoft has suspended all new sales of its products and services in Russia.
The decision, announced this afternoon in a blog post by company president Brad Smith, does not mention Xbox by name but seems sure to include Microsoft’s gaming brand.
“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,” Smith wrote.
“We are announcing today that we will suspend all new sales of Microsoft products and services in Russia.
“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.”
We’ve reached out to Xbox for additional detail.
At the time of writing, digital game purchases are still available via Xbox store’s Russian regional version, although this seems likely to change.
Much of the post details Microsoft response to the invasion to date, which involves the protection of Ukraine’s cybersecurity. In particular, Microsoft says it has helped foil a recent “cyberattack against a major Ukrainian broadcaster”.
“Since the war began, we have acted against Russian positioning, destructive or disruptive measures against more than 20 Ukrainian government, IT and financial sector organisations,” Smith continued. “We have also acted against cyberattacks targeting several additional civilian sites. We have publicly raised our concerns that these attacks against civilians violate the Geneva Convention.
“We are also continuing to mobilise our resources to help the people in Ukraine. Our Microsoft Philanthropies and UN Affairs teams are working closely with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and multiple UN agencies to help refugees by providing technology and financial support for key NGOs and, where needed, we are defending these groups from ongoing cyberattacks.
“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.
“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.”
This morning, Eurogamer broke the news that Sony had quietly pulled today’s blockbuster PlayStation 5 racer Gran Turismo 7 from sale in Russia – a decision made late yesterday. Sony has yet to acknowledge the decision publicly.
Earlier this week, Ukraine’s deputy prime minister called upon both PlayStation and Xbox to stop sales to Russia and its ally Belarus.
Yesterday, Cyberpunk and The Witcher developer CD Projekt said it would block all purchases made from Russia and its ally Belarus via its PC games store GOG.com – making it the first store owner to do so.
Eurogamer has contacted PlayStation, Nintendo and Valve on their plans to continue supporting Russian markets. With Microsoft’s stance now public, it seems likely others will follow.