No longer available in Russia (pic: Sony)
Every major video game company in the world has now stopped selling its games and hardware in Russia, including preventing digital sales.
Like everyone else, from McDonald’s to Netflix, most video game companies have already stopped doing business with Russia, in protest at their invasion of Ukraine.
Most started last week, even if there was no official announcement at the time, with Microsoft, EA, Activision Blizzard, Ubisoft, Take-Two, and CD Projekt all stopping sales and hardware shipments to the country.
Sony has also now confirmed that it purposefully cancelled last week’s release of Gran Turismo 7 in Russia and that it will switch off the PlayStation Store completely in the country, while also stopping the import of physical software and hardware.
‘Sony Interactive Entertainment joins the global community in calling for peace in Ukraine. We have suspended all software and hardware shipments, the launch of Gran Turismo 7, and operations of the PlayStation Store in Russia,’ said the company in a statement.
Sony will also be donating $2 million (£1.52) to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and Save the Children.
Nintendo, which always does its level best not to get involved in politics, has been predictably circumspect about its plans, with the suspension of the Russian Switch eShop last week appearing to be down to the local payment provider rather than Nintendo itself.
They have now officially suspended all shipments to Russia but their brief statement makes no mention of the war and gives the unfortunate impression that they would still do business in the country if only it was physically possible.
‘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’, reads the statement given to Eurogamer.
‘In addition, Nintendo eShop in Russia is currently under maintenance following the suspension of transactions in Russian rubles by the payment provider.’
It seems unlikely they would break step with companies though, especially as they recently cancelled the launch of Advance Wars 1+2: Re-Boot Camp because of ‘recent world events’.
In truth though, the impact of any of this to the average Russian gamer is likely to be minimal, given that the PC is the most popular format in the country and piracy is rampant.
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Russia-Ukraine war: Everything you need to know
Over two million Ukrainian refugees have fled, as cities face shortages of food, water, heat, and medicine – with some having to resort to melting snow for water.
Countries have retaliated by imposing sanctions on Russia and oligarchs such as Roman Abramovich, while large companies like Starbucks, McDonald’s, and Coca-Cola have suspended business in the country.
However, despite these economic blows, Russian President Vladimir Putin hasn’t shown any signs of calling off the attack anytime soon.