Sony said Wednesday it had stopped sales of hardware and software, including suspending operations of its PlayStation Store, in Russia in response to the country’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine. The move comes a week after Mykhailo Fedorov, Ukraine’s deputy prime minister, called on technology companies like Sony and Microsoft to pull out of Russian markets. The news was originally reported by multiple news outlets, including CNBC, before a statement was eventually released on Twitter.
“Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE) joins the global community in calling for peace in Ukraine,” the company said in a statement. “We have suspended all software and hardware shipments, the launch of Gran Turismo 7, and operations of the PlayStation Store in Russia. To support humanitarian aid, Sony Group Corporation announced a US$2 million donation to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the international NGO, Save the Children, to support the victims of this tragedy.”
March 9, 2022
Sony is not the first western company to pull its business out of Russia. Microsoft did the same on March 4 alongside Electronic Arts. On March 7, Netflix discontinued its service in Russia, going so far as to cancel the subscriptions for all Russian customers. CD Projekt, arguably the region’s most influential developer and publisher, has also halted sales of both physical and digital products there, including through GOG. These companies join a host of megacorporations such as Shell, Apple, and McDonald’s who have all suspended business in Russia in the past two weeks.
The war in Ukraine is just two weeks old and already more than 2 million refugees, at least half of them children, have fled the country as on-the-ground reporting shows Russian forces attacking civilian targets. Game developers in Ukraine tell Polygon that their work is largely on hold inside the country. Many of their employees are sheltering in place, trapped in their homes by Russian forces. Still others are taking up arms and joining the Ukrainian army and territorial defense forces.