Japanese gaming giants Sony and Nintendo halt business and operations in Russia

Japanese gaming giants Sony and Nintendo have halted shipments to Russia, joining a growing list of global brands that are exiting the country following Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

Sony Interactive Entertainment, the manufacturer of the PlayStation 5, said on Thursday it has suspended the launch of racing game “Gran Turismo 7” and operations of the PlayStation Store in Russia.

Sony Group also said it donated $2 million to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and Save the Children “to support the victims of this tragedy”.

Nintendo said it is suspending all exports to Russia “for the foreseeable future,” citing “volatility surrounding the logistics of shipping and distributing physical goods”.

The Kyoto-based firm, the maker of the popular Switch console, also said it has delayed the release of turn-based strategy game “Advance Wars 1+2: Re-Boot Camp”, which was due to launch on April 8.

Nintendo last week said it put its eShop under maintenance in Russia after its payment provider suspended transactions in Russian roubles.

Also on Thursday, Hitachi, one of Japan’s biggest electronics and construction equipment makers, said it would suspend operations in Russia, citing “multiple factors including the supply chain situation”.

The moves come amid an unprecedented industry-spanning exodus of mostly Western brands from Russia, including Shell, Apple, Disney, Starbucks, McDonald’s and Ikea.

Japanese carmakers and airlines have also halted exports to Russia and suspended flights to Europe, respectively, citing logistical issues and safety concerns.