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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.

James Galizio

Staff Writer

I'm a writer for TechRaptor, technology and games in particular have been my passion my whole life, and to contribute to the industry has been my dream. If I'm not writing or working on other work, you can almost always find me playing some sort of game!

  • Dr Dub

    Nintendo really are an utterly scummy company. I’ve had a couple of run-ins with them.

    Firstly I sold my 3DS to my brother with instructions to never sell it on because it was linked to my account and if I bought a new model in the future I’d want to do an account transfer. Naturally he ignored me and sold it on ebay. When I bought a 3DS XL at a later date I couldn’t transfer my account across.

    Now I didn’t care so much about the digital games I lost. Yeah it was scummy of Nintendo for having the account tied to the console as it wasn’t like the new user could play those games but all I really wanted was my account and user name. Not asking for much right? They can shove the 3 or 4 digital games I had up their backside but I just wanted the account right? Unfortunately Nintendo weren’t interested in helping me transfer it (even though they have the capability (e.g. if yours is stole).

    Just pure garbage customer service right there.

    Later I dropped my Wii U gamepad and it suffered unsightly cosmetic damage. I did not expect this repaired under warranty because it was my fault obviously. So I said I’d like to pay for a repair or pay for a replacement pad….

    No! They refused! They are so stupid and have such poor customer service that you can throw money at the morons and they will turn it down! I mean seriously, they do not want money!!! Who in their right mind invests in such a joke of a company?! I pushed them on the issue and they said they would only repair it if it were broken. So basically what I have to do is take my cosmetically damaged pad, drive my car over it and then they will fix it! They are that bloody minded.

    I have never known such an arrogant anti-consumer company. They do not give a damn about loyalty. I’ve been buying their consoles and games for almost 30 years but they couldn’t care less!

  • Big Boss

    In other words, im never selling my 2DS untill I buy a new HH first in order to xfer account. But yes Nintendo (japanese game companies) are really stubborn, unwilling to change, and or work with the west, causing them a huge loss in revenue, and guess why they dont want to work with the west? They are afraid they might lose revenue.

    I was planning to buy all my games via the eShop, but if this manages to happen to the 3DS platform, I would likely lose my account and the games along with it.

    I keep hearing more and more, about nintendont being the scummiest of the scummy, surpassing EA by miles.

  • Bobbbbby5

    It sucks, but that’s the way the cookie crumbles.
    It’s not just a Nintendo issue, although they at least don’t try to trick you with it.

    Most don’t seem to realize that it’s also impossible to not agree to any changes to the PS3/PS4 EULA and probably the Xbox One for that matter. Even if you don’t update and just play offline, you’ve still agreed to the new EULA even if you didn’t realize it. There is no such screen like this on other systems, or even other devices like phones. Instead you are silently agreeing to them via “continued use” or some other catch all nonsense like that.

  • James Galizio

    That’s not true, or at least it isn’t for PS3/PS4. You have to agree to the EULA before you update.

  • 33

    I know I’m asking about old news, but for the Sony EULA it says it was for the PSN or did it apply to PS3/PS4 updates as a whole? (I’m probably misreading it in some way or another.)

    The fact you can’t simply go back from the Nintendo EULA screen (‘I won’t agree, so don’t give me the update, etc.’) is rather unnecessary.

  • Slick JMista

    If they need to do this shit on consoles, then i see no point in owning one. Just stick to PCs instead.

  • Bobbbbby5

    There’s a line in the PlayStation EULA that specifically states they can alter the EULA at any time and that “your continued access to or use of System Software will signify your acceptance of the latest version of this Agreement” which seems to imply that just by using your system, regardless of whether or not you chose to update it, you agree to any changes in the EULA.
    You don’t have to update, but you’re always agreeing to the EULA changes just by using it.
    Microsoft actually has several ways you can agree to the EULA and any changes for the Xbox, one of which is “using the hardware device.”

    While I’ve never experienced it firsthand, supposedly many Apple products won’t let you use it either unless you agree to EULA changes much in the same way Nintendo is doing.

    Please, correct me if I’m wrong though.
    And just to be clear, I think this practice of locking you out of something you bought to be BS, but I think the whole silently agreeing to EULA changes is even worse, especially since most don’t even seem to realize it’s even happening. It’s ironic that Nintendo is being upfront about it, yet are the ones being persecuted for doing so. I guess it’s because they’re forcing the updates as well, but it seems like more are upset over the EULA thing.

  • James Galizio

    This piece was only for the recent issues with the Wii U forcing you to the EULA; we’re working on another article that goes over EULAs industry-wide in a bit more depth.

    Those clauses in Sony and MS’s EULAs are definitely discouraging, but we will be focusing on them eventually.