The Nintendo eShop will close indefinitely in Russia on 31 May 2023, after a year of suspended service that began when the country invaded Ukraine. Alongside a number of other companies, Nintendo of Europe chose to pull support for Russia in 2022, ending the sale of physical products in the region and initially placing the Nintendo eShop in ‘maintenance mode’.
In this reduced capacity, Nintendo Switch owners could still purchase games and redeem download codes – but that’s now set to end.
Per an email seen by Game Developer, Nintendo of Europe has reportedly announced it will ‘wind down’ its operations in Russia, with players no longer able to make new purchases or redeem download codes after May. They will be able to re-download games they’ve already purchased – but this appears to be the only planned functionality for the Nintendo eShop.
Read: EA, Microsoft, Sony, and more pause sales to Russia
‘As a result of the economic outlook, Nintendo of Europe has decided to wind down operations of its Russian subsidiary,’ the email, reportedly sent to game publishers, said. ‘As part of our efforts to honour preceding commitments to our customers in the Russian market, the Russian version of Nintendo eShop will be set to offer limited service.’
‘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.’
Payment information for the Nintendo eShop will reportedly be erased in a mass sweep, to protect the information of players.
At this stage, there is no word on future plans to reopen the Nintendo eShop in Russia, should its war on Ukraine end. Rather, the digital store is being closed indefinitely, with all ongoing support being wrapped up.
With other game companies like Microsoft, Sony, EA, Activision Blizzard, Epic Games, and Take-Two all pulling sales from Russia, it has now become extremely difficult for players to purchase new games in the country. There is hope these tightened restrictions will ultimately encourage the Russian government to reconsider its movements in Ukraine.