Sony’s Playstation, Nintendo Become Latest Companies to Cut Ties With Russia

Sony’s Playstation, Nintendo Become Latest Companies to Cut Ties With Russia
A logo sits illuminated outside the Sony booth at GSMA Mobile World Congress 2019 in Barcelona, Spain, on Feb. 26, 2019. (David Ramos/Getty Images)
Katabella Roberts

Sony Group Corp.’s PlayStation business and Nintendo Co. have become the latest companies to distance themselves from Russia in the wake of its invasion of Ukraine.

The Japanese companies issued separate statements on March 10 announcing they were suspending operations in the country in a show of support for Ukraine.

Sony’s PlayStation said it has suspended all software and hardware shipments, the launch of Gran Turismo 7, and operations of the Playstation store in Russia.

“Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE) joins the global community in calling for peace in Ukraine,” the company said. “To support humanitarian aid, Sony Group Corporation announced a $2 million donation to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the international NGO, Save the Children, to support the victims of this tragedy.”

A Nintendo spokesperson told Eurogamer that it is suspending shipping all products to Russia “for the foreseeable future” due to “considerable volatility surrounding the logistics of shipping and distributing physical goods.”

However, it stopped short of specifically stating that the suspension was due to the conflict in Ukraine.

“In addition, Nintendo eShop in Russia is currently under maintenance following the suspension of transactions in Russian rubles by the payment provider,” the spokesperson told Eurogamer.

The Epoch Times has contacted a Nintendo spokesperson for comment.

Nintendo last week said it had temporarily put its eShop in Russia under maintenance after the payment provider it uses suspended transactions of payments in Russian roubles.
On Wednesday the company also announced it was indefinitely delaying Advance Wars 1+2: Re-Boot Camp which was scheduled to be released on its Switch console on April 8 “in light of recent world events.”

The moves from Sony and Nintendo come shortly after Ukraine’s deputy prime minister, Mykhailo Fedorov, called on “all game development companies and esports platforms” to temporarily stop support for Russia and Belarus.

In an open letter, Fedorov noted that “modern technology is perhaps the best answer to the tanks, multiple rocket launchers and missiles,” and urged them to “temporarily block all Russian and Belarusian accounts, temporarily stop the participation of Russian and Belarusian teams and gamers in all international esports events and cancel all international events holding on the territory of Russia and Belarus.”
Microsoft on Friday announced it was suspending all new sales of its products and services in Russia, adding that it was “horrified, angered, and saddened by the images and news coming from the war in Ukraine,” while CD project and Electronic Arts followed suit with similar moves.

A string of other non-gaming companies including McDonald’s, Starbucks, Coca-Cola, Levi’s, and more have cut business ties with the nation.

The Kremlin has accused the United States of declaring an economic war on Russia following a string of sanctions imposed on its import, export, and finances.

“You see the bacchanalia, the hostile bacchanalia, which the West has sown—and that, of course, makes the situation very difficult and forces us to think seriously,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Wednesday, adding that it was considering its response to a U.S. ban on Russian oil and energy.

“We see that the situation on energy markets is developing rather turbulently—and we don’t know how far that turbulence will go,” Peskov said.