Nintendo Shuts Down eShop in Russia ‘For The Foreseeable Future’
Since May 31st, Nintendo’s eShop has ceased to operate in Russia, following more than a year of the platform being in ‘maintenance’ mode. In the weeks that followed Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, countless gaming organisations and brands pulled out of Russia, and Nintendo acted by cutting off any new shipments to the country and ‘putting the eShop services under maintenance’.
Now, it has been revealed that Nintendo is shutting down those eShop operations entirely, taking the store offline in Russia ‘for the foreseeable future.’ This means that players in Russia will not be able to download any new games or make purchases on the eShop, but they’ll still be able to access old, already-purchased games.
Joining The Roster
Since February 2022 and the beginning of Russia’s invasion, dozens of gaming companies – including some of the biggest tech titans on Earth – have pulled out of the country.
In March 2022, Sony and Microsoft suspended hardware and software sales in the region, and the likes of Activision Blizzard, Electronic Arts, and Ubisoft all halted sales. Later in the year, some developers closed their offices in Russia – such as Ubisoft – and withdrew completely from the nation.
Niantic also stepped up, restricting access to Pokémon Go in Russia as a sign that the firm was ‘standing with the global community in hoping for peace and a rapid resolution to the violence and suffering in Ukraine.’
Last year, Nintendo plunged the eShop into a ‘maintenance mode’ in Russia, but now, as per a recent statement, it has closed down the digital store entirely in the region. In a statement procured from a Russian social media site (thanks, Exputer), it was stated:
In the foreseeable future, starting from May 31, 2023, Russian customers who have a Nintendo account will be able to re-download previously purchased digital content. It will be impossible to create new Nintendo accounts by specifying Russia as the country in the settings.
Furthermore, it was stated that Nintendo plans to ‘further reduce investments’ in Russia with a goal of exiting the market entirely, as other publishers and developers have done.