Update: Nintendo has confirmed that it has halted shipments to Russia.
In a statement to Eurogamer (opens in new tab), the company said that it had “decided to suspend shipping all Nintendo products to Russia for the foreseeable future. This is due to considerable volatility surrounding the logisitics of shipping and distributing physical goods.”
The statement also confirmed that the Nintendo eShop in Russia is in maintenance mode “following the suspension of transactions in Russian rubles by the payment provider.” That’s likely linked to Visa and Mastercard’s decision to block foreign transactions in the country earlier this month.
While Nintendo doesn’t directly address the conflict in Ukraine, it has taken a number of related steps in recent days. As well as halting payments and shipping, the company also announced yesterday that it was indefinitely delaying the release of the Advance Wars 1+2 remakes “in light of recent world events.”
Original story: The Nintendo eShop has been temporarily suspended in Russia.
Over the past weekend, users online began to note that Russia’s version of the Nintendo eShop on the Nintendo Switch had stopped accepting payments. A few hours later, Nintendo’s official Russian website (opens in new tab) confirmed that the eShop had been “temporarily put into maintenance mode” due to the suspension of payments.
Ultimately, it’s a little unclear why the suspension of payments has occurred. Nintendo hasn’t commented whatsoever on the suspension of payments from Russian customers, nor has it outlined how long the suspension, or the maintenance mode on the official website, will be going on for.
If this is a suspension of the Russian eShop due to Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine, Nintendo is far from the first gaming company to shut down accounts in the region. Earlier this month, Polish studio CD Projekt announced that it would be temporarily shuttering the GOG storefront for both Russian and Belarusian customers, as well as disabling purchases for CD Projekt Red-developed games like Cyberpunk 2077 and The Witcher 3 in both regions. Other major publishers, including Microsoft, EA, Epic Games, and Activision Blizzard, have also suspended services in Russia.
Elsewhere, Sony appears to have quietly delisted Gran Turismo 7 from purchase in Russia. Late last week, when GT 7 was due to launch around the world on March 4, it was noted that the Russian page for the game had quietly removed its release date, simply saying that a release for the racing game was “pending.” Just like Nintendo, Sony never formally announced a suspension of sales in Russia, so it’s unclear whether this is the start of a new trend for the company, or just a temporary measure.
If you want to help the people of Ukraine, consider donating to The Ukrainian Red Cross (opens in new tab), which is providing vital aid on the ground; Doctors Without Borders (opens in new tab), which is working with local volunteers and healthcare professionals; and The Kyiv Independent (opens in new tab), a Ukraine-based English-language newspaper which is keeping the world informed on what’s happening on the ground.