Gamers in Crimea are no longer able to play World of Warcraft, Hearthstone, Diablo 3 and other games connected to the Battle.net gaming client, as Blizzard has suspended access in order to comply with U.S. sanctions.
Major U.S. internet companies have suspended services to Crimean users including Apple, Google and Paypal over the last year, according to The Moscow Times. The United States barred U.S.-registered companies from investing or providing any services in Crimea.
Earlier this week, Battle.net users from the region received a notification of the sanctioned service interruption from the game maker. The gamer population in the area is certainly unhappy about this.
Blizzard Entertainment’s World of Warcraft is a game released in 2004 followed by five expansion packs grossing over $10 billion therefore making it the most successful MMORPG of all times. In January 2014, Blizzard announced that over 100 million game accounts were created during the game’s lifespan.
[quote text_size=”small” author=”– Blizzard Entertainment”]
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.
The US has imposed numerous sanctions as a result of the ongoing dispute between Russia and Ukraine, but the Battle.net blockage would appear to arise from Executive Order 13685 signed on December 19, 2014. Among its many prohibitions is “the exportation, reexportation, sale, or supply, directly or indirectly, from the United States, or by a United States person, wherever located, of any goods, services, or technology to the Crimea region of Ukraine.” That, naturally includes services like Battle.net, according to PC Gamer.
Last year, Blizzard announced a shooter game Overwatch scheduled to enter closed beta phase in late 2015.