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Ukraine's deputy prime minister, Mykhailo Fedorov has called on "all game development companies and esports platforms" to temporarily stop support for Russia and Belarus, and directed an open letter to Xbox and PlayStation in particular.
On his Twitter account, Fedorov tagged Xbox and PlayStation, writing: "You are definitely aware of what is happening in Ukraine right now. Russia declare war not for Ukraine but for all civilized world. If you support human values, you should live [sic] the Russian market!"
The open letter calls for companies to "temporarily block all Russian and Belarusian accounts, temporarily stop the participation of Russian and Belarusian teams and gamers in all international esports events and cancel all international events holding on the territory of Russia and Belarus." While not explicitly mentioned, Fedorov has likely included Belarus in the request because of its tacit support of Russia's invasion.
@Xbox @PlayStation— Mykhailo Fedorov (@FedorovMykhailo) March 2, 2022
You are definitely aware of what is happening in Ukraine right now. Russia declare war not for Ukraine but for all civilized world. If you support human values, you should live the Russian market! pic.twitter.com/tnQr13BsSv
Since the beginning of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, many parts of the games industry have thrown their support behind Ukraine, including a number of fundraising efforts for humanitarian organizations.
However, while we've seen platformer Little Orpheus delayed due to its Soviet-related storyline, we've not yet heard about unrelated games being pulled from release in Russia. That stands in contrast to the film industry, which has seen Disney, Sony Pictures, and Warner Bros. pull movies from release in the country.
We've contacted Microsoft, Sony Interactive Entertainment, and Nintendo for comment on the open letter.
You can read Federov's letter in full below: