EA removes Russian national team, football clubs from ‘FIFA 22’ videogame

FILE PHOTO: An Electronic Arts (EA) video game logo is seen at the Electronic Entertainment Expo, or E3, in Los Angeles
An Electronic Arts (EA) video game logo is seen at the Electronic Entertainment Expo, or E3, in Los Angeles, California, United States, June 17, 2015.
REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson//File Photo

Electronic Arts Inc is removing the Russian national team and all Russian football clubs from its popular videogame title “FIFA 22”, as more companies distance themselves from the country following its invasion of Ukraine.

The company also said it would remove Russian teams from “NHL 22”, its game title based on the National Hockey League.

EA’s move comes days after the FIFA suspended Russia’s national teams and clubs from international football and the NHL said it would no longer consider the country when looking at locations for any future NHL competitions.

The North American league counts many high-profile Russian players among its ranks including Tampa Bay Lightning stars Nikita Kucherov and Andrei Vasilevskiy and veteran Washington Capitals winger Alexander Ovechkin.

From Apple to Nike, scores of companies have severed connections with Russia as western nations impose sanctions, including shutting out some Russian banks from the SWIFT global financial network.

Motorsport Games Inc separately said the sanctions against Russia could delay the release of the racing game developer’s future titles.

Shares of Miami, Florida-based Motorsport, which is known for its “NASCAR” and “KartKraft” games, fell nearly 13% in afternoon trading.

Motorsport Games said a significant portion of its development staff is based in Russia and the sanctions could impact its ability to use Russian staff for future game development.

The company did not immediately respond to a Reuters query on the number of employees working out of Russia.

“Prolonged unrest, intensified military activities or more extensive sanctions impacting the region could have a material adverse effect on our operations, results of operations, financial condition, liquidity and business outlook,” the company said in a regulatory filing.

More from around NYC