the Nintendo Online Store reportedly suspended transactions in Russia due to a problem processing payments in Russian currency. The continued invasion of Ukraine by Russia and Belarus has led to many parts of the gaming industry pledging to support this Eastern European country. Recently, The Pokémon Company lent its aid to Ukraine in the form of a two thousand dollar donation, and it looks like Russia has now been locked out of the Nintendo eShop.
Since the beginning of the Russian invasion on February 24, countries and institutions around the world have shown their support for Ukraine. Many game industry developers and publishers have helped in the form of game sales from Russia and large donations to Ukraine. Battlefield 2042 retired a Russian helicopter that previously served as an in-game reward, while Ubisoft offered its Ukrainian employees additional funds to help them relocate. Mykhailo Fedorov, the Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister, recently asked PlayStation and Xbox to block Russian accounts in order to motivate the proactive protest of Russian citizens.
As reported by Nintendo’s life, the Russian Nintendo eShop has been placed in maintenance mode due to an issue with a third-party payment service. A support page on the eShop website, translated from Russian by Nintendo’s life, explains that the Nintendo eShop payment service has temporarily stopped processing rubles. It’s unclear if Nintendo was involved in suspending the digital storefront in Russia or if the third-party payment service was solely responsible for the ongoing issue.
As the invasion of Ukraine continues, many gaming industry stalwarts continue to lend their support. However, one studio in particular has been directly affected by the incursion from Russia and Belarus. GSC Game World delayed STALKER 2 for the foreseeable future, since Ukrainian developers must now focus their attention on surviving the invasion and helping defend their country. As the team was forced to drop the long-awaited post-apocalyptic title, an announcement video looks confident that the work will continue after peace returns to Ukraine.
While the Nintendo eShop suspension in Russia may not have been an intentional attempt to protest the invasion of Ukraine, it seems like a suspicious moment. Whether Nintendo consciously blocked Russian users or its third-party payment system simply stopped accepting the ruble, this is yet another example of a gaming industry behemoth kicking Russia out of the digital scene. It seems likely that Russian players will not be able to make purchases on the Nintendo Online Store until the end of the assault on Ukraine.
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Source: Nintendo Life
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