after a plea of the Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Mykhailo Fedorov last week asked that gambling companies cease operations in Russia and Belarus, Niantic announced it would end support for Pokémon Go in those countries.
Niantic says that Pokémon Go downloads have already been disabled in those regions, and that gameplay will be suspended “soon.” Niantic’s move comes amid a spate of similar decisions by fellow gaming companies that have decided to suspend their operations or services in those countries following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine late last month.
Sony has already suspended sales of both games and consoles in Russia, and Microsoft has halted all sales in the country. Last weekend, Nintendo halted sales of digital games on its eShop after disabling transactions in rubles, and more recently announced it would stop shipping products including the Switch to the country.
And although some game publishers like it Bungie continues to provide limited service for its titles by continuing to support the basic free version of Lot 2, players in Russia will no longer be able to purchase DLC content, cosmetics, or silver (Destiny 2’s in-game currency). Meanwhile, other game companies including Epic, Ubisoft, CD Projekt Red, Take-Two, EA and others have stopped selling their games there.
It is currently unclear how long the suspension of Niantic’s service in the region will last. But with the company making this decision to encourage a “quick fix to the violence and suffering in Ukraine,” there will be no online monster capture via Pokémon Go in Russia or Belarus until some sort of peace deal can be signed. .
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