Sony is suspending PlayStation sales in Russia over its war in Ukraine. The Japanese videogame company is barring sales of both hardware and software in Russia as a result of the conflict, and that includes cutting off access to the PlayStation Store and halting the launch of Gran Turismo 7 in the country.
“Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE) joins the global community in calling for peace in Ukraine,” the company said (via CNBC).
“To support humanitarian aid, Sony Group Corporation announced a $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."
Sony's suspension of PlayStation services are likely to have far-reaching repercussions for players in Russia. A post on Russian website Overclockers.ru outlines how there are now reports of Russian players running into issues accessing their existing games or the PlayStation interface since SIE blocked access to its services in the country.
The blog post outlines a way around the suspension, which relies on having VPN access and exchanging rubles into cryptocurrency, though we cannot verify this claim.
Many gaming companies have also now ceased operations in Russia following a plea from Ukraine's deputy prime minister, Mykhailo Fedorov, to do so. Poland-based CD Projekt recently halted all sales in Russia and closely-affiliated Belarus, and EA has removed Russian clubs and players from FIFA 22.
Microsoft has also halted all new sales of its products and services.
Ukrainian developers have faced incredible hardship and halted development in light of the ongoing war. GSC Game World, developer of Stalker and the upcoming sequel Stalker 2, announced that development of its upcoming game has been paused. Developer of the Sherlock Holmes games and The Sinking City, Frogwares, has pivoted from game development to daily updates on the conflict on Twitter.
Ubisoft and Crytek are among those major game companies that have switched focus to ensuring the safety of their studio employees in Ukraine since the conflict began.
Gaming companies join many others in their withdrawal from Russia over its war in Ukraine, including AMD, Intel, Nvidia, Apple, McDonalds, Starbucks, Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Ikea, H&M, Nike, Mercedes-Benz, and many more.
In response to the war in Ukraine, gamers have heartily backed a bundle for Ukraine on itch.io that includes nearly 1,000 games. This has smashed its original goal of $100,000 and has currently raised over $3.3 million.