Since the commencement of Russia’s invasion into its neighbouring country of Ukraine back on February 24th, Nintendo has gradually halted operations within the country. Roughly one week after the invasion started, it was reported that eShop payments had been suspended within the region, with Nintendo later confirming that it had halted exports of products to the country.
During the Q&A session for the 82nd Annual General Meeting of Shareholders at Nintendo, an attendee asked two of Nintendo’s directors (Shutaro Furukawa and Shatoru Shibata) about their thoughts on the prospect of further business within Russia. While Furukawa and Shibata understandably refrained from sharing specific details, they confirmed that halting operations within the region had a “negligible effect” on Nintendo’s overall financial results:
Q: It seems that you halted business in Russia because of the situation in Ukraine, but what are your thoughts about future business in the region? Also, what is the business situation in the neighboring European region?
Shuntaro Furukawa: Since the payment provider for Nintendo eShop (which operates the digital business) in Russia has suspended transactions in Russian rubles, the Russian Nintendo eShop has been in maintenance mode since March 4th. In addition, due to the suspension of Nintendo eShop operations and logistical difficulties, for the time being, we are not shipping any products, including physical products, to Russia. We will not discuss the specific amount of impact, but this issue has a negligible effect on our overall financial results since sales in Russia are only a small part of overall sales for the Nintendo group.
Satoru Shibata: Regarding business in the Russia region, we are giving serious thought to how to handle this going forward, in light of changing world affairs. In Europe, as in other regions, Nintendo Switch sales continue to be steady even entering its sixth year, and interest from consumers is high. While changes in the environment like the situation in Ukraine and global inflation do exist, these factors have not greatly affected the progress of the Nintendo Switch business in Europe.
Nintendo is just one of several video game companies that made moves to distance itself from Russia since the country’s invasion of Ukraine. CD Projekt RED confirmed that it will halt shipments of its games to the region, and EA stated that all all Russian teams and clubs would be removed from its FIFA products. As a direct result, it was subsequently reported that Russia planned to revise its regulations on intellectual properties to effectively allow consumers to circumvent the boycotts.
In addition, Nintendo also made the decision to indefinitely delay the release of Advance Wars 1+2: Reboot Camp; there is currently no word on a revised release date at the time of writing. This didn’t stop one lucky fan from being able to play the game early, before Nintendo swiftly put the breaks on.
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