All major video game companies in the world have now stopped selling their games and hardware in Russia, including preventing digital sales. Like everyone from McDonald’s to Netflix, most video game companies have already stopped doing business with Russia in protest against the invasion of Ukraine.
Most started last week, although there was no official announcement at the time, Microsoft, EA, Activision Blizzard, Ubisoft, Take-Two and CD Projekt all halted sales and shipments of material to the country.
Sony has also confirmed that it deliberately canceled the launch of Gran Turismo 7 in Russia last week and will be shutting down the PlayStation Store in the country completely, as well as halting imports of software and physical hardware.
“Sony Interactive Entertainment joins the global community in calling for peace in Ukraine. We have suspended all software and hardware shipments, the launch of Gran Turismo 7 and PlayStation Store operations in Russia,” the company said in a statement. Sony will also donate $2 million to the High Commission. United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and Save the Children.
Nintendo, which always does its best not to get involved in politics, has been predictably cautious about its plans, with the suspension of the Russian Switch eShop last week appearing to come from the local payment provider instead. than from Nintendo itself.
They have now officially suspended all shipments to Russia, but their brief statement makes no mention of the war and gives the unfortunate impression that they would continue to do business in the country if it were physically possible.
“We have decided to suspend shipping of all Nintendo products to Russia for the foreseeable future. This is due to the considerable volatility surrounding the shipping and distribution logistics of physical goods.” Additionally, the Nintendo eShop in Russia is currently undergoing maintenance following the suspension of Russian ruble transactions by the payment provider.”
It seems unlikely that they will break with the companies, especially since they recently canceled the release of Advance Wars 1+2: Re-Boot Camp due to “recent world events”. In fact, however, the impact of this for the average Russian gamer is likely to be minimal, as PC is the most popular format in the country and piracy is very common.
Piracy is theoretically illegal in Russia, but according to Torrent Freak, the government is actually talking about relaxing the laws during the crisis, so that Russian consumers are free to pirate whatever they want.