Epic Games has suggestions from a Fortnite Russia ban, arguing that blocking access to its games would cut communication channels, which contradicts its ultimate goal of reaching the general public in Russia. On Twitter, the publisher said it is suspending trading in the country, meaning microtransactions/in-game sales will be suspended until further notice. However, it is unclear whether this suspension also applies to the sale of new (Epic-published) games and Epic Games Store’s operations in Russia or not.
Epic’s Statement Against Fortnite Russia Ban
Epic stops trading with Russia in our games in response to the invasion of Ukraine. We don’t block access for the same reason that other means of communication remain online: the free world must keep all lines of dialogue open.
— Epic Games Newsroom (@EpicNewsroom) March 5, 2022
Fortnite is one of the most popular games in Russia. According to statistic, it is one of the most streamed games on Twitch in the Russian language. Kiryache (Kirill Grichin) has been identified as the country’s leading Fortnite esports player, with a minimum prize pool of $257,000 as of January 2022. The trading suspension will certainly affect Fortnite players.
Elsewhere, Activision Blizzard announced that it has also “suspended new sales of and in our games in Russia as this conflict continues.” Games like Overwatch, World of Warcraft and Call of Duty are hugely popular in the country. The publisher also employs employees in Ukraine and expressed concern for their safety. “We are doing everything we can to help workers and their families directly affected by this tragedy,” Activision added. The company has already raised more than $300,000 to help Ukrainians.
In other news, Gran Turismo 7’s microtransactions and dynamic car prizes are being criticized by players, and it looks like Bungie’s new competitive PvP will feature IP character-focused action from third parties.