U.S. Sanctions have forced Blizzard to cut Battle.net access in Crimea

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I love me some Blizzard gaming. Diablo III continues to keep me clicking away merrily, and every now and then, Heroes of the Storm distracts me from that other MOBA I play. Take those games away from me,and I would be a very sad panda. That’s the horrible reality that gamers in Crimea are facing at the moment. Due to ongoing tensions between Russia and Ukraine, Blizzard have had to suspend their service, Battle.net, in the region, and thus, deny Crimean’s access to the titles above along with the likes of World of Warcraft, Hearthstone, and Starcraft too.

This is a result of US imposed sanctions, namely Executive Order 13684, which was signed last year, December 19 (via PC Gamer). Simply put, this order prevents certain transactions within the Crimea Region of Ukraine – including that of Battle.net.

Blizzard have sent out the following email to those affected (PC Gamer via The Moscow Times)

“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.”

If like me, your first thought was “at least they still have Steam”, it turns out Valve already cut access to their service way back in January (via Venture Beat). This limits the potential of PC gaming pretty drastically in that region, particularly online play.

One can only hope that the political situation between those two countries is ironed out as soon as possible. Not only are their economies suffering , their gamers are too.

Last Updated: April 10, 2015

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