Nintendo is joining the growing list of video game companies suspending their business practices in Russia due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. According to Reuters, Nintendo is suspending all product shipments to Russia “for the foreseeable future… due to considerable volatility surrounding the logistics of shipping and distributing physical goods.” This news comes after Nintendo put its eShop in Russia under maintenance, “meaning no purchases of new content can be made in the country”, and Nintendo indefinitely suspending Advance Wars 1+2 Re-Boot Camp due to the game’s “theme of war and invasion.”
Nintendo does join other video game companies in suspending their businesses within Russia; however, Nintendo has not publicly condemned Russia like other companies. For example, both Microsoft and Sony have tweeted that suspending new sales was directly intended to pressure Russia to end the invasion.
We are taking several new steps in response to the war in Ukraine, including suspending new sales in Russia. https://t.co/BCHZ57TryO
— Brad Smith (@BradSmi) March 4, 2022
— PlayStation (@PlayStation) March 9, 2022
In contrast, Nintendo’s wording has been consistently neutral. For instance, Nintendo stated that shipments were not stopped due to the conflict, but rather that the volatility within Russia would make shipments more difficult. Furthermore, the maintenance mode of the eShop in Russia was caused by payments not being accepted, to which Nintendo responded with, “We apologize for any inconvenience caused. We will share updates as the situation develops.”
This rising surge for video game companies to cut ties with Russia is a result from a tweet from Mykhailo Fedorov, Ukraine’s Vice Prime Minister. On March 2, 2022, after tagging Xbox and Playstation, Fedorov tweeted, “You are definitely aware of what is happening in Ukraine right now. Russia declare war not for Ukraine but for all civilized world. If you support human values, you should live the Russian market!” Following the tweet, several game companies have publicly suspended ties with Russia in solidarity with Ukraine.