Nintendo Switch Pro Controller
Image: Zion Grassl / Nintendo Life

Update [Fri 14th Apr, 2023 11:45 BST]: Nintendo of Europe has provided a statement to Eurogamer saying that following its suspension of the eShop and officially shipping products to Russia in 2022, it "has decided to wind down operations of its Russian subsidiary".

Noting the current "economic outlook" as a factor, NOE states that it will "maintain a minimal presence in Russia to complete the wind-down process, and to fulfil legal, contractual and administrative requirements," and that "advanced discussions" have taken place with repair and warranty service suppliers in the region, "with LLC Achivka being one such potential supplier."

Here's the statement in full:

"In early 2022, Nintendo suspended shipping products to Russia, and placed Nintendo eShop under maintenance following the suspension of transactions in Russian rubles by the payment provider. Following this, and as a result of the economic outlook, Nintendo of Europe has decided to wind down operations of its Russian subsidiary.

"We will maintain a minimal presence in Russia to complete the wind-down process, and to fulfil legal, contractual and administrative requirements. Employees in Moscow received individual compensation packages, and their contracts ended by mutual agreement and with our appreciation for their efforts.

"We continue to investigate solutions to honour preceding commitments to our customers in the Russian market. In this vein and a spirit of transparency, we are in advanced discussions with potential suppliers of repair and warranty service for Nintendo products that had already been sold in the Russian market, with LLC Achivka being one such potential supplier.

"We are aware that several companies in Russia operate parallel imports of goods, including Nintendo products. Nintendo is not affiliated with such companies and has no involvement in parallel import activities in Russia.

"In case our Russian customers have questions regarding our products or services, we continue to encourage them to contact Customer Support."

[via Eurogamer]

Original Story [Wed 12th Apr, 2023 16:30 BST]:

Russian Nintendo Managers Reportedly Running A Shadow Office To Keep Goods Flowing

Achivka LLC, a Russian legal entity which formally shares office and the management with Nintendo’s dormant local branch, is importing video games to the country shunned by international businesses following its invasion of Ukraine.

As reported by Russian business newspaper Kommersant, copies of Metroid Prime Remastered bearing Achivka’s stick-on label are finding their way to local retailers. According to the register of EAC declarations of conformity, Achivka has also formally declared Nintendo Switch consoles as fit for sale in the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), which Russia is an integral part of.

In 2022, as many companies halted shipments to Russia and sales there, the country’s lawmakers made it legal for anyone to import consumer and industrial goods without a rightsholder’s approval. Achivka (which translates to “Achievement,” as in video game rewards) has more ties to Nintendo than any third-party reseller.

According to the Russian register of companies, it’s led and partially owned by Nintendo Russia CEO Yasha Haddaji who, after a probe following reports of workplace harassment, continues to hold his office to this day. Nintendo Russia corporate event manager Ksenia Kachalova has also got a minority stake at Achivka, and its legal address is the same as the one of Nintendo’s Russian branch. Kommersant says Achivka and Nintendo’s local and European offices did not return calls for comment.

Getting its Russian operations sold or transferred to a local management is an option which many international companies, from Electrolux and Shneider Electric to Leroy Merlin, are choosing to minimize their exposure to Russia. Nintendo, while going as far as shutting down the Nintendo eShop in the country, has said nothing of that regard.

In July, Nintendo president Shuntaro Furukawa glossed over a question on the future of the company’s presence in Russia, only noting that halting operations there had a “negligible effect” on Nintendo’s global financial results.

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