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Just as the company is preparing to wow fans with its latest PlayStation State of Play, Sony Interactive Entertainment is suspending its games business in Russia. In reaction to Russia’s unprovoked and illegal attack on Ukraine, Sony is ending shipments of its games and hardware to the country. The company has also pulled the plug on the digital PlayStation Store in the nation.
“Sony Interactive Entertainment joins the global community in calling for peace in Ukraine,” reads a statement from the company. “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.”
PlayStation is following similar moves from Microsoft and Nintendo. And, of course, this response extends beyond video games. McDonald’s and Coca-Cola have all ceased operations to some extent in Russia.
None of these Russian closures are due to official international sanctions. Instead, companies are afraid of looking like they are taking money from a country that chose to bring war back to Europe.
Practically, these companies are also happy to exit a market with a plummeting currency. The Russian ruble’s value is half of what it was at the beginning of the year. And SIE, Xbox, and Nintendo likely don’t want to do business in such a volatile space.