Nintendo’s Lost a German Court Appeal Over Switch eShop Pre-Orders

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Nintendo's previously come under fire for their Switch eShop policy, with criticism mainly levied towards the refund process. Letting customers cancel pre-orders until a week before release, they'd intially won a court case defending this practice last year, but that's been overturned on appeal.

As reported by Pressfire, the German court of appeal reversed its decision and has now sided with two groups, the Federation of German Consumer Organisations (VZBV) and The Norwegian Consumer Council.

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Nintendo’s Lost a German Court Appeal Over Switch eShop Pre-Orders

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These consumer group filed a case against Nintendo for their eShop pre-order policy, which they regarded as an 'unfair' ruling. That's because of the lack of a free trial for those new games to be tested first by potential buyers, with no refund process in place once released.

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A part of VZBV's official statement (translated by Nintendo Life) reads as:

"Nintendo had already offered video games for download in its e-shop before the official release date. The download usually included a software-comprehensive "pre-load" of the game as well as an icon displayed on the game console. The unlocking of the game took place via update only on the official start date. Such online purchases can usually be revoked within 14 days without giving reasons.
However, Nintendo had excluded the right of withdrawal and relied on a legal exception. However, the prerequisites for the right of revocation were not met, as the download made available after the pre-order did not yet contain any usable game. Until the release date, the game is worthless for the buyers and the contract of Nintendo is not fulfilled in any way."

Nintendo hasn't released a formal statement regarding this matter, and we've seen no change to their terms and conditions. We'll update you once that happens.