Skip to main content

Electronic Arts removes Russian teams from their sports games

By March 4, 2022April 6th, 2022Sports games

By Jason Collins | 1 month ago

Video game publisher Electronic Arts (EA Games) has launched a process to remove Russian national teams and all other Russian teams from their sports games, starting with FIFA 22, as an expression of solidarity with the Ukrainian people. In fact, the country’s Deputy Prime Minister Mykhailo Fedorov has called on all game development companies and esports platforms to block Russian and Belarusian accounts, cancel tournaments and ban players – which could be illegal, but we will come back to this. later.

As reported by The edgeelectronic arts announced that it is in the process of removing Russian sports teams and the country’s professional clubs from some of its most important sports game titles. These titles include NHL22, FIFA22, fifa online, and Mobile FIFA video games. Although the exact date of their removal was not disclosed, the publisher said the removal process is ongoing. This decision was made in accordance with FIFA, UEFA, and IIHF’decisions to ban Russia from all competitions until further notice. It should be noted that these decisions relate only to Russian and Belarusian teams and not to the presence of individual players in other teams and sports in general.

By removing Russian and Belarusian teams from their games, Electronic Arts and its sports gaming division, EA Sports, are showing solidarity with the people of Ukraine, calling for peace and an end to the ongoing invasion of Ukraine. Electronic Arts has joined other technology companies currently limiting its services to Russia, including Apple, Facebook and YouTube, which modify or supplement removal of their services in connection with the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

electronic arts fifa 22

Admittedly, this isn’t the first time that a game company has changed or changed the content of its games due to real events. For example, Activision Blizzard combed through all of its releases by removing all character names from the game that were in any way related to allegations of sexual harassment and discrimination. In the case of Electronic Arts, however, the company was forced to change the offensive name from the current Washington Commanders to crazy games, and last year he fired Las Vegas Raiders coach Jon Gruden over an email scandal.

That said, Electronic Arts’ decision seems reasonable. Mikhailo Fedorov’s claim is not so well founded. Calling on all game development companies and esports platforms to sanction Russia and Belarus by restricting access to their services and temporarily suspending their accounts seems reasonable. These restrictions and suspensions may be lifted in the future once pending conflicts are resolved. However, it is not legal to permanently ban or restrict individuals from sporting and esports events on the grounds that they are Russian or Belarusian. In fact, it is downright illegal and in conflict with basic human rights.

In conclusion, Electronic Arts announced the removal of Russian and Belarusian sports teams from their games and said nothing about restricting players based in Russia and Belarus. But, of course, such moves wouldn’t be economically viable, and if recent history has taught us anything, it’s that no one should ever suspect Electronic Arts’ aggressive monetization practices. So, it would seem that the aforementioned solidarity only extends as long as it doesn’t burn a hole in the company’s pocket.