Twitch joins the list of international companies sanctioning Russia over its illegal invasion of Ukraine, telling streamers that it would be withholding payments.
“Payouts to the financial institution associated with your Twitch account have been blocked as a result of sanctions,” read an email Twitch sent Russian streamers (via The Washington Post). “Twitch complies with economic sanctions imposed by the United States and other governments, and is complying with those imposed in response to the situation in Ukraine. These sanctions may limit or impact your access to payouts, ability to monetise your stream, and/or financially support other creators.”
The email added that Twitch could “appreciate how frustrating and difficult this is,” and that if streamers could not provide an alternative financial institution, the company still would do its best to pay streamers as soon as that’s permitted. PayPal was seen as the last remaining option, but as The Washington Post points out, its service has now also gone offline in Russia. “I feared it and knew it could happen, but didn’t expect it to happen this soon and overnight over the weekend,” said Russian Twitch partner CommanderIvy about the Twitch sanctions.
The impact is already being felt throughout the Russian streaming community, and even by those outside the country’s borders. “I have been blocked from payments from Twitch, many advertisers have left the Russian market and my Visa and Mastercard cards will soon be blocked abroad,” said Russian Twitch streamer Alexey Gubanov, aka Jesus AVGN. Gubanov, who has 1.4 million Twitch followers, told The Post he had to leave Russia because of his vocal opposition to Vladimir Putin. “For many years I have been against the Putin regime, because of which I had to flee my home country, and yet I still have to answer for all the terrible actions of Putin, even in another country.”
For those looking to help the people of Ukraine, Necrosoft Games has put together a charity bundle with a minimum purchase price of $US10 ($14).