The biggest names in the business have pulled their games from app stores in Russia and Belarus and made large charitable donations in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Gameloft has studios in Kharkiv and Lviv. It has donated €600k to those employees on site in Ukraine with immediate effect, in addition to an advanced payment of their March salaries. Gameloft has also pledged to support those trying to leave the country with housing and legal help, organised by its teams in Bucharest, Budapest and Sofia.
Plarium has over 700 staff in Ukraine, at offices in Lviv, Kyiv and Kharkiv. It is providing financial support and help with visas and housing to those staff, with around the clock support hotlines and a team in Poland helping evacuations. It has removed its games from app stores in Russia and Belarus and also donated $500k to the Ukrainian Red Cross.
On March 8, Zynga began to suspend all installations, monetisation and marketing support across all titles in Russia and Belarus. It also donated over $200k to three organisations providing support in Ukraine.
Supercell confirmed on March 9 that it had removed its games from the App Stores in Russia and Belarus, and that access for existing players in those regions would be suspended with the next client updates. It also donated €1m to UNHCR, and is matching donations up to €1m here. Supercell-owned studio Space Ape also donated £100k to UNHCR through the matching scheme.
On the same day, March 9, Rovio also removed its games from App Stores in Russia and Belarus, and disabled IAPs in those regions. No further updates to its games will be available in Russia and Belarus, and it is also giving over its in-game ad space in those countries to organisations like Unicef.
Also on March 9, Playtika pulled its games from App Stores in Russia, and has donated $100,000 to the Red Cross Ukraine Appeal Fund. On March 7, it wrote on LinkedIn: “We’ve setup dedicated logistics centers for supplies of food and fresh water, orchestrated evacuation and relocation of many of our employees and their families, providing them with temporary housing solutions and financial support.”
Next Games – which is being bought by Netflix – also pulled its games from stores in Russia and Belarus, disabling IAPs and removing access to players with forthcoming updates, while making a donation to the fund set up by the National bank of Ukraine.
Namco Bandai pledged 100m Yen to Save the Children, and GameHouse / Real Networks donated $50k to the Red Cross, and is matching employee donations to the cause.
Playrix Ukraine has donated $500k to the local Red Cross, stating that it employs over 1,500 people in the country. Slovakian studio Pixel Federation has also removed its games from App Stores in Russia and Belarus.
King owner Activision Blizzard put out a statement on March 4 about its support efforts, confirming that would be suspending new game sales and IAPs in Russia, while matching employee donations to organisations helping Ukraine 2:1. There was also recognition for its colleagues in Poland, who have volunteered their time to help Ukrainians in need.
EA stated that it would be pulling its games from App Stores in Russia and Belarus, and halting IAPs. It is also removing Russian teams from FIFA and NHL.
Ubisoft suspended game sales in Russia on March 7, and has been providing financial and logistical support to its employees in Ukraine as well as donating to several organisations helping the cause. Sega also confirmed it would be making donations to various organisations.
Polish studio Ten Square Games, maker of Fishing Clash and Flip This House, has also pulled its games from Russia and Belarus. This War Of Mine maker 11bit Studios was among the first to act by donating all proceeds from TWOM to the Ukrainian Red Cross.