One day after Ukraine’s deputy prime minister urged gaming companies to pull out of Russian markets, CD Projekt Group — arguably the region’s most influential game company — has taken action. On Thursday the publisher of Cyberpunk 2077 and The Witcher series announced that it would stop selling its products in Russia and Belarus.
“In light of the Russian military invasion of our neighboring country of Ukraine,” the company said in a statement published on Twitter, “until further notice the CD Projekt Group has made the decision to halt all sales of our games to Russia and Belarus. ”
The Russian invasion of Ukraine is now in its second week, with thousands of civilian casualties reported and at least one million refugees streaming west into central Europe. The unprovoked assault has brought international condemnation, and a tightening of financial restrictions on Russia and its oligarchs. Major corporations like Shell, BP, and Apple have taken steps to cease operations in the region. Now game developers are doing what they can to show their support.
CD Projekt further specified that it would not only stop shipping physical stock into Russia and Belarus, but that it would stop distributing games digitally there as well. The move includes its own online platform, GOG.
“The entire CD Projekt Group stands firm with the people of Ukraine,” the company said. “While we are not a political entity capable of directly influencing state matters, and don’t aspire to be one, we do believe that commercial entities, when united, have the power to inspire global change in the hearts and minds of ordinary people. We know that players in Russia and Belarus, individuals who have nothing to do with the invasion of Ukraine, will be impacted by this decision, but with this action we wish to further galvanize the global community to speak about what is going on in the heart of Europe.”
CD Projekt is headquartered in Warsaw, the capital of Poland, a country that shares a border with both Ukraine and Belarus. According to Vox, more than 280,000 Ukrainian refugees have sought refuge in Poland, with many of them being taken in by average Polish citizens. Meanwhile, the Polish government, along with many other governments in Europe and around the world, is sending weapons to Ukraine.
“To our brothers and sisters fighting for their home country,” CD Projekt said, “stay strong!” The company then added the traditional Ukrainian salute of Слава Україні, which translates to “Glory to Ukraine.”