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Sony suspends all console and game sales in Russia

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The Russian invasion of Ukraine has unleashed hell on an innocent population, and the world has begun to respond. The crippling economic sanctions have pulled many countries and companies out of Russia entirely, and the avalanche is still rolling. Various private and publicly traded companies have announced that they are suspending ongoing operations in Russia, in order to put pressure on the oligarchs and the economy.

Some companies have already pulled out of Russia over this tragic issue, citing similar concerns about the abuse of human rights, and the transgression against Ukrainian sovereignty. Now console and tech giant Sony has pulled their game division out temporarily. Announcing its actions on Twitter, PlayStation has “suspended all software and hardware shipments, the launch of Gran Turismo 7, and operations of the PlayStation Store in Russia.”

The announcement also includes a $2 million donation “to support the victims of this tragedy.” That money is being given to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), and is being handed over to help Ukrainians fleeing the country and the ensuing violence. And it’s genuinely what any company with a sense of morals would do. Despite it being a bit of a PR gesture, mostly positive reception has been seen all around.

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There is one thing to point out here, namely that Sony has some other problems that PR moves like this won’t cover up. For one thing, there’s a widespread allegation that Sony has a problem with sexism at its various offices. Just this week, 8 women joined a lawsuit citing perceived widespread sexism at the company.

Sony denied the claims, and has motioned for the court to dismiss them, citing what they say is a lack of specific facts. The suit came about after former IT security analyst Emma Majo kicked it off by making allegations of a workplace that was inherently hostile to women. Sony says Majo “fails to identify a single policy, practice or procedure at [PlayStation] that allegedly formed the basis of any widespread intentional discrimination or had a discriminatory impact on women.”

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