Steam, the digital distribution platform for PC games, announced that it has temporarily suspended payments to Ukrainian users. The decision was made due to a significant drop in traffic from Ukraine and other countries with similar economic situations.
The “ukraine map” is an issue that has been present for a while. The Ukrainian government has blocked all cryptocurrency payments in the country, and this includes Steam purchases.
Early this month, Steam briefly halted payments to Ukrainian and Russian developers, causing them to miss out on money due at the end of March.
The decision stems from Valve’s bank requesting intermediate bank information for wire payments to Ukrainian and Russian accounts as a consequence of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which started on February 24.
The initial notification sent to developers earlier in March briefly stated that bank payments to Belarus, Ukraine, and Russia were suspended “due to the current environment,” but the company offered additional clarification after this caused outrage among affected devs.
“This past week, our bank notified us that they will begin requiring that we provide intermediary bank information for all wire payments to accounts in Russia and Ukraine. In addition, they will no longer be allowing payments to Belarus,” it said in a follow-up email to Ukrainian solo developer Ternox Games.
“We’re trying to comprehend all of the new criteria, as well as to devise a strategy for gathering this information from you and sending it to the bank. This will take some time to complete, but it will not be ready in time for the end-of-March payments to impacted accounts.”
Valve said that developers in Ukraine and Russia presently have two options: wait for it to finish the procedure indicated above, or create accounts with banks outside of Ukraine, Russia, and Belarus.
“Rest assured, any overdue amounts on your account will be reimbursed as soon as they are able to be transferred,” the business said, adding calling the situation “extremely irritating.”
At most, this means that outstanding March payments will be issued together with April installments, but not all impacted developers are certain that this will happen.
“I’m not sure about April,” Stas Shostak, an independent developer, told PC Gamer. “Will they really resolve the issue between the banks, or will Ukraine be cut off just in case? My Ukrainian gamedev pals all say the same thing. Some people (like myself) are just waiting for the next month’s payment, while others have opted to create accounts with foreign banks to ensure that they get the next payment.”
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