Crimean Online Gaming Blocked by Sanctions


We are not all united by gaming, as it turns out. According to The Moscow Times, the United States sanctions against the contested Ukrainian-owned, Russian-annexed territory have barred U.S. companies from providing services to the region. While the article notes this previously included companies like Google, PayPal, and Apple, the video game company is now joining in.

These latest developments were revealed due to a post on geektimes.ru, sharing an e-mail from Blizzard Entertainment to its Crimean customers:

You are receiving this email because, in accordance with current trade regulations relating to the region of Crimea, we are legally required to suspend access to your Battle.net account. Any recurring subscription payment will be cancelled.
We are sincerely sorry that you’re being impacted in this way; if the situation changes, we will happily do our best to restore access to your account.

— Blizzard Entertainment

While the biggest game hit by this is going to be World of Warcraft, the block will also stop players from playing the online-only Diablo III.

Of course, Blizzard isn’t the only company to be doing this. Riot blocked League of Legends from being played in the territory of Crimea, noted through their own friendly e-mail that was previously shared on Reddit. Crimean online gaming already took hits when Valve blocked game purchases from Crimea earlier this year. I honestly can’t imagine being in the situation, but it’s disheartening to hear that some of the escapes ordinary people use are disappearing.

Sometimes, we become so involved with the worlds that developers have crafted and the communities we’ve digitally built, but it’s important to note how real-world situations like Crimea can affect gaming. In this digital age, gaming is a global community, and it is affected by global issues like this. We can only wish for a speedy resolution, hoping that isolated gamers can soon return to the fold in time for the next sale and patch.

About David A. Reeves

David is a 25 year old graduate with a BA in English, and he's wondering how all of this adult stuff crept up on him. He has a large love of Fire Emblem and Final Fantasy, a lack of budget sense during Steam sales, and is involved in an abusive relationship with the MMO genre. Outside of gaming, David can be found reading books with swords and magic, suffering from writer's block on that story he said he'd write, enjoying a hookah or a beer with friends, and trying not to say anything inappropriate despite the overwhelming urge. He's an odd fellow.

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