The Russian version of the official Xbox blog is no longer exists – Microsoft has completely removed it without making any statements. When trying to access the page, a redirect to the US version of Xbox Wire is triggered.
Russia is also no longer mentioned in the list of regions – Microsoft offers sites in English, German, French, Spanish, Portuguese and Japanese. The Russian version of Xbox Wire stopped being updated in March, when Microsoft announced that it would stop supplying Xbox consoles to Russia, but the page remained accessible until the end of June.
Three months after ceasing operations in Russia, Microsoft announced its intention to “significantly reduce” its operations in the country. In particular, it became known that the corporation closed the Russian division of Xbox, dismissed all employees and stopped selling consoles and subscriptions. Russians were deprived of the ability to download Windows ISOs from the Microsoft website and were removed from the Windows Insider testing program. The company’s president, Brad Smith, later said in an interview that operations in the country would shrink “until eventually there is little or nothing left.”
The Russian version of Xbox Wire was launched with great fanfare before the release of the Xbox Series X|S – Phil Spencer even addressed Russian gamers in Russian at the time with the words “Thank you for playing Xbox”. Later, Microsoft announced “expansion in all directions” and called the Russian market one of the most promising.
Microsoft was expected to address the audience in the end of June and explain what will happen with the brand in Russia, but nothing happened.
Accordingly, the future of Xbox in the country is connected primarily with the grey and parallel imports, and the use of subscription services with stores and accounts in foreign regions. Warranty service for previously sold Xbox’es will probably also be discontinued or users will be asked to send products to service centers in other countries.
As for Russian Microsoft as a whole, a few employees remained there. Others, as already mentioned, were dismissed. In fact, the maximum reduction of Microsoft’s presence in Russia, which the president of the corporation announced the other day, has already taken place.