Nintendo shuts down eShop services in Russia after a year-long suspension.


Highlights of the story

  • In a widely anticipated move, Nintendo has decided to shut down its e-shop services in Russia from May 31.
  • Russian users will no longer be able to make new purchases or download content using download codes.
  • Games previously purchased on previously registered Nintendo accounts will be available for download again.
  • This decision comes in the context of expanding Western sanctions against Russia in response to the attack on Ukraine.

Nintendo has decided to shut down its e-shop services in Russia. This comes after the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine, which began a year ago in February 2022. In February of last year, Nintendo already “has stopped shipping products in the country and placed the e-shop services under maintenanceStop processing transactions in rubles. This decision is effective from May 31, 2023. Nintendo informed publishers of its decision in an email.

A screenshot of the email was uploaded to a Russian social media website. The email also states that Nintendo will further reduce investment in its Russian subsidiary in order to eventually exit the market entirely. The shutdown of eShop services means that Nintendo players in the Russian Federation region will no longer be able to make new purchases or download games using download codes.

Translated version of Nintendo email.
Translated version of Nintendo email.

However, Russian Nintendo users will be able to re-download previously purchased digital content. This will only be valid for existing Nintendo Accounts. Credit card and PayPal details, including other payment details, linked to Nintendo accounts located in Russia will also be deleted for unspecified “security reasons,” Nintendo said. The email further wrote,

Until May 31, 2023, and for the foreseeable future, Russian users with an existing Nintendo Account will be able to re-download digital content they have previously purchased. It will not be possible to make any new purchases or use download codes within it. [the] Nintendo eShop in Russia.

Russian Nintendo fans were not surprised by this decision. He believed that there was plenty of time to come. Some things were worse a year ago when they couldn’t even download pre-purchased games from e-shops. And as expected from the Russian gaming community, they already have loopholes around the ban allowing them to enjoy the full services of the eShop with a mere change of region.

This is not the first time a major company has shut down its services in Russia. Companies such as Microsoft, Mojave, EA, and Sony have stopped selling their products in the region. Just 2 months ago in April, Sony pulled Horizon Forbidden West: Burning Shores from the Russian PlayStation Store.

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