Nintendo Loses Appeal in Nintendo eShop Lawsuit in Germany

Published: December 6, 2021 4:41 PM /


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Nintendo has lost the Nintendo eShop lawsuit in Germany, potentially paving the way for changes to your ability to cancel pre-orders in that country and elsewhere.

Longtime Nintendo fans know that the company has a habit of legal action, especially when it comes to the DMCA; over the years, it's targeted a bunch of fan projects such as Metroid 2 remake and a fan-made The Legend of Zelda game. Recently, however, the Japanese company found itself on the other side of the courtroom, defending its pre-order cancellation processes in Germany -- and it just lost its most recent appeal.

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What Happened with the Nintendo eShop Lawsuit in Germany?

The Nintendo eShop lawsuit centered on pre-orders and refunds. Nintendo had recently changed its pre-order policy worldwide with the introduction of a 7-day refund window, but this proved to be a point of contention in Germany.

As Nintendo Life reports (via Reddit), getting a pre-order in Germany involved a legal exception to traditional refund policies. However, the court ruled that Nintendo didn't quite meet the qualifications for this exception in the lawsuit. Simply put, the German court stated that a pre-loaded game does not constitute a usable product and Nintendo was therefore unable to enforce a shortened cancellation window.

So, what does this mean for the Nintendo eShop? It's unlikely that there will be any major changes soon, but Nintendo may be changing its refund policy in Germany -- and possibly the rest of the EU as well since many of those countries share similarly-strong consumer protection laws. These changes may spread to other regions in the world, too.

For now, we don't know exactly how Nintendo will respond to this ruling. What is clear, however, is that consumer rights advocates have scored a major victory with this ruling.

Do you think you should be able to refund pre-orders? How does the Nintendo eShop compare to other digital game stores in your opinion? Let us know in the comments below!