In our increasingly technologically-dependent world, the rise of End-User License Agreements – EULAs – has been a near constant concern in many consumer-rights advocates minds. Especially, in recent years, due to increasingly bold statements that may be found within these agreements. In regards to gaming however, refusing to accept these EULAs meant that most of the time you just couldn’t play online. Valve has previously been under heat for some of their EULA practices preventing users from playing their digital games if they decided to not accept new terms, but up until now none of the major console manufacturers have enacted anything remotely similar to the blatant anti-consumer measures that Valve had taken. With that being said, it seems that this streak has now – and quite unfortunately – ended.
When YouTube user AMurder0fCrows updated his Wii U, he expected that the changes in regards to the EULA would be minor – but instead, he found issue with key words regarding to Nintendo being able to update his Wii U whenever they felt the need – and without sharing this knowledge with him. Much like any informed consumer, he decided to decline the update to the EULA, until it could perhaps be changed – that is when he noticed that there was no way for him to disagree to the new terms, and that he was locked out of using any of the Wii U software until he decided to agree with the changes to the EULA. No matter what he tried – restarting the Wii U, attempting to load various different games and apps from the quick-start menu – he simply could not find a way to get past the incessant screen telling him to agree to the new terms.
One particularly harrowing quote from the video exclaims that when he contacted Nintendo, they suggested that if he disagreed with that particular portion of the terms, that he should just disconnect the Wii U from the internet AFTER agreeing to the updated terms. Another quote is as follows;
Nintendo stated that there was no way around the acceptance of the EULA if i wanted to use my Wii U system at all. They suggested I sell it on craigslist. I then pointed out that I should at least be able to remove my accounts from the system prior to sale, but since I was locked out of the settings app, I couldn’t even do that.
Unrelated to the current issue – after this video was brought to our attention, we decided to seek out the EULA in full for ourselves to review. Shockingly, we found that not only did the provision in question apply to the Wii U, but also the 3DS as well. Although this does not specifically deal with the issues regarding the system being locked out, we also noticed various other claims within the EULAs for both Nintendo platforms that could only be described as sketchy at best. In fact, we implore any individual that either owns a Nintendo system, or is considering purchasing one in the future to read through both EULAs in full. As well, we here at TechRaptor feel that you should go as far to read the EULAs for every system you may own. As we started to dig deeper regarding this new development, we have realized that this issue is one that we may want to take a closer look at as a whole – and we are not adverse to publishing an article looking in depth in regards to these issues industry-wide.
As for now, however – we leave the issue here, until more information arises… though we may have a more general look into the world of EULAs soon.