Nintendo Loses German Court Appeal Over eShop Pre-Orders

Nintendo loses the four year long ongoing case regarding eShop pre-order cancellations.

By Achi Ikeda. Posted 12/07/2021 12:21 Comment on this     ShareThis

If you go to any physical store that sells games and put in a pre-order for any upcoming Nintendo title, you can always cancel the order and get a refund. Yet, this was not true for the eShop. Until recently, any pre-orders were essentially early purchases on a game. The game would even download, but you were unable to play it until it’s release date.

Earlier last year in Europe, this policy to refuse refunds led to legal action that ended in a case that Nintendo won. Now, the German court of appeal has flipped that decision thanks to the work by the Federation of German Consumer Organizations (VZBV) and The Norwegian Consumer Council.

Nintendo had actually slightly changed its pre-order policy in September 2020 due to this four year long ongoing case. This change allowed pre-orders to be cancelled more than 7 days ahead of the game’s release. German courts claimed that this updated policy was still unfair and has now won the case against Nintendo.

Below is a summary of the case and the latest outcome (translated from German thanks to Nintendolife).


“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.

…The Regional Court of Frankfurt am Main had dismissed the VZBZ’s action at first instance. With their appeal to the Higher Regional Court of Frankfurt, the consumer advocates have now been successful. At hearing, after discussing the legal situation, the judges had advised Nintendo to recognize, the VZBV’s claim for injunctive relief as justified. The company complied with this. In the acknowledgement judgement, the court upheld the VZBZ’s action in its entirety. As is customary in such judgements, the acknowledgement judgement does not contain any grounds for decision.”

It is likely that the eShop will soon make changes to pre-orders globally. Stay tuned for more details on the court case.

Source: Nintendolife

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