Nintendo’s official Russian support website details the suspension, although as of publication, it is unclear if the action is down to the company itself or a third party.
The suspension is more than likely in connection with Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine that started on February 24, forcing many citizens to flee their country amid military attacks.
A translation of the statement (via Nintendo Life) reads: “Due to the fact that the payment service used in [the] Nintendo eShop has suspended the processing of payments in rubles, [the] Nintendo eShop in Russia is temporarily placed into maintenance mode.
“We apologise for any inconvenience caused. We will share updates as the situation develops,” adds the statement.
Nintendo is yet to comment on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, so it is unclear exactly why this suspension has taken place. Although mention of the payment service may indicate that the value of the rouble is to blame.
If Nintendo is behind the suspension, this would mean the Japanese company is joining Microsoft in suspending sales in Russia. These actions follow an open letter from Ukraine’s vice Prime Minister Mykhailo Fedorov asking the whole games industry to cease dealing with Russian markets.
“I appeal to temporarily block all Russian and Belorussian accounts, temporarily stop the participation of Russian and Belorussian teams and gamers in all international esports events and cancel all international events holding on the territory of Russia and Belarus,” wrote Fedorov.
“I am sure that you will not only hear, but also do everything possible to protect Ukraine, Europe and, finally, the entire democratic world.”