A dedicated Ukraine Xbox Store and account system are in development as part of its efforts to deal with the challenges of the Russia-Ukraine War.
The Russia-Ukraine War has impacted life in Ukraine on all levels, and the video game and technology sectors are no exception. We've seen games get delayed, Western companies planning to evacuate employees in the country, and even reports of developers leaving the country entirely. We've also seen some positive steps in the months since Russia further invaded Ukraine earlier this year; now, it seems that Microsoft is working on an interesting plan for Xbox gamers in the country.
Caught @BradSmi in Davos. Ukraine will cooperate with @Microsoft team on documenting damages & war crimes for UN agencies. Company will participate in rebuild process by leading digital industry. And long-waited news for our gamers: @Xbox will go Ukrainian. 🇺🇦 accounts & store.— Mykhailo Fedorov (@FedorovMykhailo) May 23, 2022
Ukraine Xbox Store & Accounts Being Added as New Region
According to Vice Prime Minister of Ukraine and Minister of Digital Transformation Mykhailo Fedorov, a recent meeting with Microsoft President and Vice Chair Brad Smith has resulted in a decision that will be a boon for Ukrainian gamers -- a dedicated Ukraine Xbox Store and accounts system will be developed.
"Caught [Brad Smith] in Davos," read a tweet from Vice Prime Minister Fedorov. "Ukraine will cooperate with @Microsoft team on documenting damages & war crimes for UN agencies. Company will participate in rebuild process by leading digital industry. And long-waited news for our gamers: @Xbox will go Ukrainian. [Ukrainian] accounts & store."
Microsoft maintains a list of countries and regions that are supported by its services, Xbox included; it seems that Ukraine will get a dedicated regional section similar to these other countries. Microsoft suspended sales and services in Russia in March 2022.
Aside from his duties as Vice Prime Minister, Mykhailo Federov is serving as the first Minister of Digital Transformation -- a new role that aims to enhance digital services in Ukraine.
To date, game developers in Ukraine have had issues with payment processing for some services due to Russian banks being used as an intermediary for Ukrainian business in some cases; earlier this year, Valve had temporarily delayed payments to developers in Ukraine, Russia, and Belarus. This latest move with Microsoft should alleviate some of the challenges that have arisen due to a lack of a dedicated Ukrainian region for the Xbox Store.