Nintendo‘s relations with Russia have been very messy in recent years. Nintendo of Russia’s president was investigated for poor workplace conduct via Nintendo of Europe, who manage the subsidiary. Their 2019 investigation resulted in him being issued a warning, and he would issue an apology to all Nintendo Russia employees. Nintendo as a whole would, later on, be forced to delay Advance Wars 1 + 2 Reboot Camp due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The game has since been released, but the woes are not over. Over a year has passed since Russia invaded Ukraine, and the war is still ongoing. Activision-Blizzard, Epic Games, Take-Two, Sony, Microsoft and EA have all stopped sales in the country. Meanwhile, Nintendo ceased product shipments to Russia last year, and the Nintendo Switch eShop went into maintenance in the country after payment providers suspended transactions of Russian rubles. Since then, we haven’t heard much about what Nintendo plans to do with their business operations in Russia going forward.
However, that changed today with an email that, according to Game Developer, Nintendo of Europe sent to publishers. According to the email, “as a result of the economic outlook, Nintendo of Europe has decided to wind down operations of its Russian subsidiary. As part of our efforts to honor preceding commitments to our customers in the Russian market, the Russian version of Nintendo eShop will be set to offer limited service”. Russian players will be unable to use download codes and make purchases in the eShop, and for security reasons, any payment information linked to Russian Nintendo Accounts, such as credit card and PayPal details, will all be deleted.
The email also states that “as of May 31, 2023, and for the foreseeable future, Russian customers with an existing Nintendo Account will be able to redownload digital content that they have previously purchased. It will not be possible to make any new purchases or use download codes within [the] Nintendo eShop in Russia”.