Nintendo's Russian eShop in 'Maintenance Mode,' Suspends Ruble Payments

Nintendo is the latest video game company to suspend sales in Russia, though it remains unclear whether the decision was intentional or not.

The company released a statement on the Russian version of its website.

"Due to the fact that the payment service used in Nintendo eShop has suspended the processing of payments in rubles, Nintendo eShop in Russia is temporarily placed into maintenance mode," the company said. "We apologize for any inconvenience caused. We will share updates as the situation develops."

Newsweek reached out to Nintendo for comment.

Nintendo is the latest company to suspend business in Russia, but the company won't elaborate on whether the decision was done intentionally. "Due to the fact that the payment service used in Nintendo eShop has suspended the processing of payments in rubles," a statement from the gaming company said. Philip Fong/Getty Images

Users online first noticed the electronic store's closing on Saturday. A Reddit thread linked a Nintendo Life article publicizing Nintendo's statement on the Russian website, which seems to have not changed since it was first announced.

Users are speculating whether U.S. sanctions against Russia are behind the "maintenance" Nintendo mentioned, as some forms of payment have become obsolete due to companies stopping transactions due to the ongoing invasion that began on February 24.

Others pondered whether the global gaming giant is mimicking the actions of others in the gaming industry.

On Friday, Microsoft President and Vice Chair Brad Smith wrote in a blog post that the company was suspending all new sales of Microsoft products and services in Russia, in addition to coordinating and "working in lockstep" with the U.S., the United Kingdom and the European Union regarding compliance with sanctions.

The No. 1 area of coordination, Smith said, involved aiding and protecting Ukraine's cybersecurity.

"Like the rest of the world, we are horrified, angered and saddened by the images and news coming from the war in Ukraine and condemn this unjustified, unprovoked and unlawful invasion by Russia," he said.

Joining Microsoft was CD PROJEKT Red, a gaming company known for creating The Witcher series and Cyberpunk 2077. The company released a statement, emblazoned with the colors of the Ukrainian flag, via Twitter and on its website.

It is headquartered in Warsaw, Poland, which has experienced a heavy influx of Ukrainian refugees the past two weeks.

"In light of the Russian military invasion of our neighboring country of Ukraine, until further notice the CD PROJEKT Group has made the decision to halt all sales of our games to Russia and Belarus," the company said in the published statement.

That included the suspension not only of digital sales, but also physical stock sold in both nations.

While stating that the company is "not a political entity capable of directly influencing state matters" and doesn't aspire to be one, CD PROJEKT Group said it believes "that commercial entities, when united, have the power to inspire global change in the hearts and minds of ordinary people."

They acknowledged that innocent individuals in both Russia and Belarus "who have nothing to do" with the events in Ukraine will be impacted, adding that this decision aims to "galvanize the global community" as a whole.

"To our brothers and sisters fighting for their home country—stay strong!" the statement concluded.

Other global companies that have suspended services in Russia include Netflix, which on Sunday cut to black service for about 1 million Russian subscribers; Zara; Puma; PayPal; American Express; Mastercard; and Visa.