Ukraine pleads for the games and esports industry to pull all support from Russia

Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Digital Transformation of Ukraine Mykhailo Fedorov attends the Community in Diia (Action) Forum on digitalization in the regions, Kyiv, capital of Ukraine.
(Image credit: Pavlo_Bagmut/ Ukrinform/Barcroft Media via Getty Images)

Ukraine's deputy prime minister has urged "all game development companies and esports platforms" to halt any business in Russia following Vladimir Putin's ongoing invasion.

Mykhailo Fedorov—who is also Ukraine's minister of digital transformation—published an open letter to Twitter, addressing the games industry as a whole but specifically targeting Xbox and PlayStation in his tweet (thanks, Axios). Fedorov implored the industry to block Russians from accessing any gaming accounts, as well as dropping any Russian teams from esports events and cancelling any tournaments due to be held in the country. "In 2022, modern technology is perhaps the best answer to the tanks, multiple rocket launchers and missiles," the letter read.

"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 teams and gamers in all international esports events and cancel all international events holding on the territory of Russia and Belarus.

“We are sure that such actions will motivation the citizens of Russia to proactively stop the disgraceful military aggression."

In a follow-up tweet, Fedorov also mentioned Riot Games, EA, Ubisoft and Wargaming, asking them to "please help us stop this. Close your offices in Russia! There's no place for aggressor on the global technological map!"

Russian President Vladimir Putin launched a "full-scale" illegal invasion of Ukraine on February 24. Since then, various hardware and gaming companies have been rallying together to support Ukraine and condemn Russia's actions. This War of Mine developer 11 Bit Studios pledged to donate all sales between February 24 and March 3 to Ukraine charities, while Stalker studio GSC Game World called the invasion "inhuman cruelty." Earlier this week saw SpaceX deliver a shipment of Starlink user terminals to provide internet access to the country.

Mollie Taylor
Features Producer

Mollie spent her early childhood deeply invested in games like Killer Instinct, Toontown and Audition Online, which continue to form the pillars of her personality today. She joined PC Gamer in 2020 as a news writer and now lends her expertise to write a wealth of features, guides and reviews with a dash of chaos. She can often be found causing mischief in Final Fantasy 14, using those experiences to write neat things about her favourite MMO. When she's not staring at her bunny girl she can be found sweating out rhythm games, pretending to be good at fighting games or spending far too much money at her local arcade.