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Nintendo latest company to end trading in Russia

Russian gamers will no longer be able to purchase digital games from the Nintendo store, as it ‘winds down’ operations.

Nintendo has become the latest company to cease operations within Russia entirely, after suspending product shipments in March 2022.

Russian consumers will no longer be able to purchase games digitally via Nintendo’s online shopfront. They will still be able to re-download previously purchased content, but cannot make any new payments nor create fresh accounts.

In a statement, Nintendo says its decision was made as a ‘result of the economic outlook’. The eShop itself has been in ‘maintenance mode’ since March 2023, as payment providers suspended operations indefinitely.

Many other gaming companies have pulled out of Russian markets as a result of the ongoing Ukrainian war. Sony, Microsoft, EA, Activision, and Blizzard have all pulled away, leaving Russian consumers unable to purchase new products or interact with upcoming games.

Over 1,000 companies have followed suit across other industries. Yale School of Management has compiled together a detailed list of brands, each graded from 1 – 5 on their level of distance from Russia. There are a lot.

The situation in Ukraine continues to develop, even over a year on from its beginning. Zelenskiy has reportedly plead for ‘security guarantees’ for Ukraine and Moldova, while three have died in an attack on Kyiv just this morning.

Companies stepping back from providing Russian services is likely due to a mix of economic viability, logistic impossibility, and public relations. With key payment platforms refusing to operate, it leaves many other companies with no choice but to close.

PayPal, for example, announced it was ceasing operations in Russia last year and condemned ‘violent military aggression in Ukraine’.

As for Nintendo, it is unclear when – or if – it will return to serve Russian gamers. For now, they’ll have to skip any new releases until a resolution to the conflict transpires.