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Take-Two halts sales, marketing and more in Russia and Belarus

Company behind Grand Theft Auto 5, the third most played game in Russia, expresses support for Ukraine

The list of games firms no longer servicing the Russian market continues to expand as Take-Two Interactive pulls all its activity there.

The Grand Theft Auto publisher has also taken similar steps in Belarus, not only stopping all sales of its games, but even preventing them from being installed.

"We have watched recent events unfold in Ukraine with concern and sadness," the publisher's vice president of corporate communications and public affairs Alan Lewis told GamesIndustry.biz.

"After significant consideration, last week, we decided to stop new sales, installations, and marketing support across all our labels in Russia and Belarus at this time."

Of the withdrawals from Russia so far, this is perhaps the most significant; according to Newzoo data shared with GamesIndustry.biz, GTA 5 is the third most popular game in the country based on monthly active users.

It is beaten only by Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and Dota 2.

It's almost certain that much of this activity is driven by GTA Online, which in turn has been driving much of Take-Two's revenues for the past eight years.

Other companies to have pulled out of the Russian games market include Microsoft, Electronic Arts, Activision Blizzard, Epic Games, CD Projekt and Bloober Team .

Nintendo has suspended all Russian eshop payments or Switch users and Sony decided to scrap the launch of Gran Turismo 7 at the last minute.

You can keep up with industry efforts to support Ukraine in the face of the Russian invasion in our ongoing roundup.

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