Niantic stops ‘Pokémon GO’ downloads in Russia with gameplay to follow

"We stand with the global community in hoping for peace and a rapid resolution to the violence and suffering in Ukraine"

Following the invasion of Ukraine, Niantic has confirmed that its games will be unavailable to download in Russia and Belarus for the foreseeable future.

Existing players will also be unable to play the likes of Pokémon GO and Pikmin Bloom in the two countries shortly.

Taking to Twitter, Niantic said: “We stand with the global community in hoping for peace and a rapid resolution to the violence and suffering in Ukraine. Niantic’s games are no longer available for download in Russia and Belarus, and gameplay will also be suspended there shortly.”

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Last week, Niantic donated $200,000 (£152,700) directly to humanitarian organisations focused on supporting the people and refugees of Ukraine. The company also matched $75,000 (£57,000) worth of donations made by employees.

“Everyone has a right to explore and enjoy their communities without fearing for their own safety — and what is happening in Ukraine is a tragedy. Innocent people are being targeted and killed, millions of people are being displaced, and many more lives have been turned upside down by this violent invasion.

“Like many others in the global community, we are heartbroken and we feel compelled to do what we can to support our players and the Ukrainian people,” the developer said in a statement.

Earlier this week, Nintendo announced that it has stopped sending shipments to Russia.

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We have decided to suspend shipping all Nintendo products to Russia for the foreseeable future. This is due to considerable volatility surrounding the logistics of shipping and distributing physical goods,” a spokesperson from Nintendo said.

The company also delayed the release of its turn-based war game Advance Wars 1+2 Re-Boot Camp “due to recent world events”.

Ukraine based GSC Game World has also announced that it is delaying the release of Stalker 2: Heart Of Chernobyl. The development took place in Kyiv, and GSC Game World said it would resume development “after the victory”.

Many studios have also made donations to aid Ukraine. 11 Bit Studios donated £520,000 from This War Of Mine sales to the Red Cross in Ukraine while CD Projekt Red donated £181,000 to a humanitarian organisation in Poland that is taking in refugees crossing the border from Ukraine.

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