Microsoft: Russia using games communities to spread information

Microsoft: Russia using games communities to spread information

Microsoft has claimed that Russia-affiliated groups are trying to use video game communities to spread information.

That's according to the Big M's president Brad Smith, who was asked on-stage at Semafor's World Economy Summit about the recent leak of Pentagon documents on a Discord server. The exec said that both Russian intelligence and affiliated organisations like the Wagner private military group.

"Well, I'll put gaming in the right context for this," Smith said, as reported by

"It's not like playing Call of Duty is going to lead to deaths in the real world – I mean, these are video games," he said. "What people are talking about is, around games you have a community of gamers that come together, they talk to each other, including when they're playing a game.

"For the last several months, our digital threat analysis team has been identifying efforts by the Russians to basically penetrate gaming communities… And we've been advising governments about this. It's The Wagner Group, it's Russian intelligence, and they're using this as a place to get information into circulation.

"That's what happened here. It included the Discord channel around Minecraft, it included others of these [communities]."

PCGamesInsider Contributing Editor

Alex Calvin is a freelance journalist who writes about the business of games. He started out at UK trade paper MCV in 2013 and left as deputy editor over three years later. In June 2017, he joined Steel Media as the editor for new site In October 2019 he left this full-time position at the company but still contributes to the site on a daily basis. He has also written for, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.