Blizzard today has started to block players in the Crimea region of the Russian Federation from their game servers, The Moscow Times reports. The bans are a direct result of sanctions placed on Russia by the United States government over the annexation of Crimea from Ukraine last year.
U.S. President Barack Obama ordered a ban on the export of “goods, technology and services” to Crimea back in December.
Russian website Geektime.ru originally reported that Blizzard began emailing Crimean users of Battle.net with the following — translated — message.
“Notice of Battle.net account … Blizzard Customer Service … You are receiving this letter because in connection with the current trade restrictions against the Crimean region, we are forced to suspend access to your account Battle.net. All of the current subscription will be canceled. We sincerely regret that you raised these circumstances, and if the situation changes, we will be happy to do everything in our power to regain access to your account. – Blizzard Entertainment”
Blizzard has yet to comment on the matter.