Pokémon

Niantic Labs Shuts Down Games and Gameplay in Russia, Belarus In Response to Ukrainian Invasion

Niantic Labs has joined the growing list of companies blacklisting Russia and its related territories from its programming.
Niantic Labs has joined the growing list of companies blacklisting Russia and its related territories from its programming. / Niantic Labs

Niantic Labs has joined the growing list of companies blacklisting Russia and its related territories from its programming.

In a tweet published by the verified Niantic Labs Twitter account on Thursday, Mar. 10, the company announced it was standing with other similar organizations and pausing all activity in Russia and Belarus. This includes Pokemon GO, Ingress, and any other property operated by Niantic. Effective immediately, its apps will no longer be available on corresponding stores and any gameplay will be suspended.

Niantic Labs Shuts Down Activity in Russia, Stands with Ukraine

”We stand with the global community in hoping for peace and a rapid resolution to the violence and suffering in Ukraine,” the tweet read, “Niantic’s games are no longer available for download in Russia and Belarus, and gameplay will also be suspended there shortly.”

As stated above, Niantic isn’t the first—let alone only—company to take a stand against Russia’s internationally illegal invasion of Ukraine by completely stopping service. Other names include Electronic Arts (EA), Nintendo, Rockstar Games, and Ubisoft who have all taken action to stop sales, pause programming, and/or reach out to employees affected by the violence.

However, as with the other announcements, some users disagreed with the move—seeing it as unjust punishment of Russian citizens who had nothing to do with the actions taken by their government. Others called it performative and ineffective from the jump.

Still, several praised Niantic for its actions in taking a stand.

If this trend continues, Niantic will not be the last to add its name to the list.