When war began as Russia invaded Ukraine, Wargaming began focusing on its employees. The company first, at the end of February, announced that it was in the process of helping employees and their families to evacuate and with humanitarian aid. Today, more than a month later, Wargaming has announced that the company will leave behind business in Russia and Belarus.
The decision was announced via press release, with some details on how things will proceed and what’s next. “Over the past weeks, Wargaming has been conducting a strategic review of business operations worldwide. The company has decided it will not own or operate any businesses in Russia and Belarus.” Wargaming also announced that they had transferred live game service in those countries to Lesta Studio, with which it is no longer associated. This deal went into effect on March 31st. This transition will mean that games operation will continue, while Lesta is the only company that will profit from running live service for the games in the two countries.
Wargaming is also closing its studio in the Belarus capital of Minsk. This process will take some time and will be handled “conducted in strict compliance with the law. Heads of Products and Services will be meeting with their teams shortly to discuss the impact of this decision on each department”. They’ll be providing severance and support to employees affected by their decision to withdraw.
In making this decision, Wargaming does expect to take a substantial financial hit in leaving business behind in those countries.
Many companies have stepped up in efforts to help the Ukrainian people since Russia began its offensive, with a variety of direct donations, sales of charity items, blocking sales and services in Russia, delays to help employees, and more efforts to get humanitarian aid to the people. Recently, the EVE Online community raised over $500,000 in the PLEX For Good campaign.