The parent company of Rockstar Games, Take-Two Interactive, has said that it will stop selling and allowing the installation of its games in Russia and Belarus after the invasion of Ukraine. This news arrives just before the next launch of Grand Theft Auto V in Xbox Series X | S and PlayStation 5. Take-Two is one of the many game companies that has been distant from Russia since the invasion began. EA recently announced that it would seek to make changes in its sports games, while platform holders like Microsoft declared that they would stop selling products in Russia.
“We have observed with concern and sadness recent events in Ukraine,” said Alan Lewis, vice president of corporate communications and public affairs of Take-Two, in a statement. statement to gamesindustry.biz. “After an important consideration, last week we decided to stop new sales, facilities and marketing support on all our labels in Russia and Belarus at this time.”
While other companies have decided to stop selling their products in Russia, it is even more surprising to see that Take-Two strives to make some of their games are practically impossible to play in the country. By eliminating the ability to make new facilities, digital games at Xbox One, PS4, Xbox Series X | S and PS5 become essentially useless. It is not clear if this can be omitted with a disk and without online connection, but anyway it is a bold movement. Gamesindustry.biz reported that GTA online is the third most popular game in Russia according to monthly active users, which means that it will affect a significant amount of players.
Take-TWO has several valuable game companies, from Rockstar Games to 2K Games, so Russian players will not go unnoticed, especially with multiple high-profile launches of the company on the horizon. It is unknown if this will be a permanent decision or if it will be reversed if the invasion of Ukraine is ended.
The main companies around the world outside the Games, including Disney and Warner Bros., also opted to stop doing business in Russia in various capabilities. Warner Bros. Withdred the release of The Batman in Russia approximately one week before its premiere. The Polish game developer CD Projekt Red also recently announced that it would also stop the sales of its titles in Russia and Belarus.