In two separate announcements on Twitter, publishing giant EA stated that it is in the process of removing multiple prominent Russian teams from two of the biggest sports franchises on the market: FIFA and NHL. The move is being done in response to the country’s invasion of Ukraine.
A statement from EA SPORTS NHL: pic.twitter.com/2uX4h55ok4
— EA SPORTS NHL (@EASPORTSNHL) March 2, 2022
According to a post on the EA Sports FIFA Twitter account, the publisher is removing the Russian National football team as well as all Russian football clubs from FIFA 22, FIFA Mobile, and FIFA Online. A similar post on the EA Sports NHL Twitter account stated that “Following the IIHF’s suspension of all Russian and Belarusian national and club teams from IIHF competitions, we will be removing those teams from NHL 22 in the coming weeks.”
This isn’t the first time that EA has made sudden changes to one of its sports titles due to ongoing events. In 2020, the company had all references to the now-Washington Commanders removed after it was revealed that the team would replace its offensive title. However, EA’s sudden decision to remove Russian and Belarusian teams from all FIFA and NHL games is its largest alteration to date.
EA’s actions, along with the company’s statement that it stands “with the people of Ukraine and join the voices around the world calling for peace,” are also the first from a major company in the game industry. Multiple small studios, both inside of Ukraine and in nations surrounding the country, have voiced their opposition to Russia’s invasion, with some donating thousands of dollars while others have asked fans to send money to Ukraine’s armed forces.
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