Mario is taking a warp pipe out of Russia.
Nintendo of Europe has announced that it is halting all new sales in its eShop in the country. That will prevent Russian gamers from buying new releases like The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom for the foreseeable future.
“It will no longer be possible to create new Nintendo Accounts with Russia set as the country in the settings,” Nintendo of Europe wrote in an update. “Payment information associated with Nintendo Accounts, such as credit card information or PayPal account information, has been removed for security reasons.”
Nintendo had suspended shipping products to Russia and put its eStore in “maintenance mode” beginning in early 2022, when payment providers suspended transactions made in Russian rubles following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The company is not pulling out of Russia altogether, it’s worth noting. A limited version of the eShop will continue to operate, allowing Russian customers to re-download digital games they had previously purchased.
Nintendo says this shutdown will be in place “for the foreseeable future”.
The invasion of Ukraine prompted many companies to shut down or suspend operations in Russia. The video game industry was no exception. Sony and Microsoft halted sales in the country soon after the military action. And major game studios, including Activision and EA stopped releasing new games as well.
While Nintendo hasn’t sold new games in the country, it’s former head of Russian operations, Yasha Haddaji, has been accused of importing copies of some new titles via a side company to sell. Eurogamer reports he is no longer a Nintendo employee as of May 31, but the game maker is still working with his side business to provide customer support in the country.